More ballots arriving in Georgia from overseas and provisional voters

November 5, 2020 Atlanta: Fulton County election workers were hard at it again on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 counting ballots at State Farm Arena. Fulton County officials say election workers have completed processing absentee-by-mail ballots. Fulton elections head Richard Barron said that 145,748 absentee-by-mail ballots have been processed. Of that, he said, results of 138,000 have been posted online and 1,200 more absentees that required more signature verification will come later today — meaning there’s a difference of roughly 7,000 between what’s been processed and what’s been posted. There are still 3,600 provisional ballots and an undetermined amount of military overseas ballots left to be finalized. The deadline for those is 5 p.m. Friday. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)
November 5, 2020 Atlanta: Fulton County election workers were hard at it again on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 counting ballots at State Farm Arena. Fulton County officials say election workers have completed processing absentee-by-mail ballots. Fulton elections head Richard Barron said that 145,748 absentee-by-mail ballots have been processed. Of that, he said, results of 138,000 have been posted online and 1,200 more absentees that required more signature verification will come later today — meaning there’s a difference of roughly 7,000 between what’s been processed and what’s been posted. There are still 3,600 provisional ballots and an undetermined amount of military overseas ballots left to be finalized. The deadline for those is 5 p.m. Friday. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Thousands of military, overseas and provisional ballots will soon be added to Georgia’s vote count, another trove of votes besides those already accounted for.

There were 8,899 absentee ballots from military and overseas voters that hadn’t yet been returned to election offices in Georgia as of Thursday morning, according to the secretary of state’s office. Another 17,529 overseas ballots had already been returned and counted.

Military and overseas ballots have a later deadline than other absentee ballots, according to federal law.

While Georgia’s deadline for domestic absentee ballots is 7 p.m. on Election Day, overseas absentee ballots will be counted if they’re postmarked by Tuesday and received at county election offices by Friday.

In addition, voters have until Friday to correct problems with provisional and absentee ballots.

Election officials lack a statewide count of outstanding provisional ballots in Georgia, which were issued when voters went to the wrong precinct, their registration information couldn’t be found or they lacked photo ID.

Fulton County reported 3,900 provisional ballots, and DeKalb County had 1,600. But data on how many provisional ballots were pending in most other counties weren’t available.

Election officials will count provisional ballots without any further action needed from voters in many cases. For example, if a ballot was cast in the wrong precinct, votes will be counted for races that the voter was eligible to participate in.

But if voters' registration information is in question, they would need to provide it to county elections offices before the end of the day Friday for their ballots to be counted.

Voters also face a Friday deadline to correct problems with rejected absentee ballots. Election officials had rejected nearly 2,000 absentee ballots through Thursday, mostly for mismatched or missing signatures.

Election officials were required by state law to contact voters and allow them fix errors.

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