*(Atlanta, GA) — In an effort to suppress votes, Georgia counties have prematurely certified election results in advance of all votes being counted, despite being under no legal obligation to do so.
At least 12 counties were either listed on the Secretary of State’s website or admitted to certifying election results before Friday, leaving provisional ballots uncounted:
*Jenkins reported via phone that they certified results within two hours of polls closing on election night.
The most egregious examples of this disenfranchisement have come from Clay, McIntosh, Turner, Taylor, White, and Marion.
Based on Secretary of State voter absentee files, Clay, McIntosh, and Marion counties have rejected ballots for signature mismatches, despite being under a court order that gives voters time to resolve issues with their ballots. Turner, Taylor, and White counties certified votes prior to Friday at 5pm, despite reporting having uncured provisional ballots; those voters should have the opportunity to resolve their provisional ballots, but their time frame to do so was cut short
Additionally, military and overseas voters have until the 3rd day after the postmark deadline to have their ballots counted.
Grassroots leaders in Georgia put out the following statements in response:
Tamieka Atkins, Executive Director of ProGeorgia, said:
“Any county in the state of Georgia that refuses to count all votes is blocking democracy. With their refusal, county officials are telling the people of Georgia that they don’t care about their vote. And we won’t stand for it. We ask that these counties take the appropriate time to count ALL ballots.”
Nikema Williams, State Director of Care in Action, said:
“What Georgia and the country is witnessing in this election is blatant and callous voter suppression. We are doing everything we can to defend democracy in the cradle of the civil rights movement. For the last 72 hours, we have aimed to contact every single voter who was suppressed and disenfranchised on Election Day. Thousands of volunteers and grassroots leaders are essentially doing the Secretary of State’s job to ensure the important act of voting is not tainted. This is 2018 and we will not allow Jim Crow South to rear its ugly head again.”
On Election Day, polling stations across the state reported widespread machine malfunction, five-hour lines at some polling stations, and shortages of voting machines. This reality is magnified in a state with a long history of voter suppression, including recent accounts under Secretary Brian Kemp, who purged 53,000 voter registrations.
Care in Action is the policy and advocacy home for women who care, working on behalf more than two million domestic workers and care workers across America.
ProGeorgia is Georgia’s non-profit civic engagement table. ProGeorgia brings together the power of existing non-profit groups to work in a more strategic way, with new tools and technology, to change Georgia’s policies.