Far more applications for absentee ballots were denied, due to a new deadline in Republican voting law

By Igor Derysh, Salon

Georgia election officials rejected absentee ballot applications in the state’s municipal elections this month at a rate more than four times higher than during the 2020 election cycle, in large part as the result of new restrictions on voting passed by Republican state lawmakers.

Election officials rejected 4% of absentee ballot applications ahead of the Nov. 2 elections, up from less than 1% in 2020, according to an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Most of the absentee ballot applications rejected last year were duplicates of applications that had already been submitted, often because voting groups or local governments sent out multiple forms to voters.

A ballot box in chains beside an outline of Georgia with its flag in the middle
Photo by Thor Deichmann

The new Georgia law, SB 202, requires absentee ballot applications to be submitted at least 11 days before the election, while the previous deadline which was the Friday before Election Day. Data shows that 52% of the rejected applications were denied because they were submitted too late under the new law. Another 15% were rejected because of missing or incorrect ID information under the new law.

Most of those people ended up not voting at all. Only about 26% of people whose ballots were rejected because of the deadline voted in person on Election Day, according to the AJC analysis.

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