September 24, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 24, 2020

Media contact: Ana Maria Rosato [email protected]

ATLANTA – Today, the ACLU of Georgia and the Fulton County of Board and Registration and Elections signed a Memorandum of Agreement to address voting problems during the June Primary. The ACLU of Georgia approached the board on behalf of its clients – Black Male Voter Project (BMVP) and Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) — whose members faced unnecessarily long lines when casting their ballots in person and delayed absentee ballot processing.

“We thank Fulton County elections officials for working with us to protect our democracy this November,” said Sean J. Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia. “We look forward to providing additional and necessary resources so that the elections can run as smoothly as possible, and so that citizens can exercise their sacred right to vote with greater ease.”

During the Primary, many voters who had applied for an absentee ballot but had not yet received it in the mail decided to cast a ballot in person on Election Day. For each such voter, the poll manager had to call the central office to clear them for voting, but the phone lines were clogged and oftentimes no one answered the phone. The process took up to several minutes per voter, resulting in long lines of citizens waiting to cast their ballots.

According to the Agreement, the county elections officials will provide laptops at all polling places so that workers can determine quickly whether a voter who has applied for an absentee ballot has cast the ballot. Laptops will significantly speed up the process, reducing both the time waiting in line and the length of those lines. The ACLU of Georgia will also provide attorneys and volunteers to help county elections officials process absentee ballot applications more quickly and to staff the laptops at the polls.