How to switch from absentee to in-person voting in Georgia

Early voting began Monday in Fulton County. Voters waited between 2 1/2 and 3 hours to cast ballots in the Anne Cox Chambers Wing of the High Museum of Art, where six ballot stations operated without any major technical problems. (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Voters who request an absentee ballot but later decide they want to vote in person are allowed to do so in Georgia.

But first they’ll have to fill out paperwork and wait for poll workers to cancel their absentee ballots. The process goes much faster for voters who bring their unused absentee ballot with them to a polling place.

There are several reasons why voters might change from absentee to in-person voting. Some voters never receive or lose their absentee ballots; others realize they never wanted to vote remotely in the first place.

ExploreElection 2020: Georgia voter guide

Voters who bring their absentee ballots within the ballot envelope can show it to a poll worker, who will then mark it as “canceled," according to the Georgia Poll Worker Manual. Then those voters will be allowed to vote on Georgia’s touchscreens.

For those who don’t have their absentee ballots with them, poll workers must check to ensure the voter hasn’t already returned an absentee ballot. Poll workers usually call county election offices, but during early voting they can look up a voter’s ballot status on check-in computers.

Then the voter has to complete and sign a form to cancel the absentee ballot before being allowed to vote in person.

During Georgia’s primary, about 150,000 voters who had requested absentee ballots instead voted in person, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Election officials say voters who requested absentee ballots should fill them out and return them unless they have a good reason not to. Absentee ballots will be counted if they’re received at county election offices by 7 p.m. Nov. 3.

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