Georgians Still Face Slow Mail Service, Voting Challenges This November

In a victory for voting rights activists, a federal judge has extended the deadline for Georgians to return mail-in ballots during the November election.

U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross ruled on Monday that voters’ absentee ballots must be counted if postmarked by Election Day and delivered within three business days afterward.

Plaintiffs with the New Georgia Project challenged Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to make the absentee ballot process easier, and more streamlined as Georgians have voted by-mail in record numbers during the pandemic. The state recorded about 1.1 million absentee ballots during the 2020 June 9 primary. That number is expected to grow for the November presidential election. Georgia has had no-excuse absentee voting since 2005.

Ross denied other requests, including that the state provide free ballot postage, and automatic mailing of absentee ballot applications to all registered voters.

Amber McReynolds is the CEO of Vote At Home, a nationwide organization that advocates for absentee ballots. She spoke with WABE’s Emil Moffatt on “All Things Considered” about how the ruling will play out in Georgia before this November.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.