Fri., June 22, 2012 12:01pm (EDT)

GA Runoff Schedule Violates Federal Law
By Ellen Reinhardt
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
The federal government has sent a letter to Georgia officials saying the state's schedule for runoff elections violates federal law on overseas absentee ballots.  The U.S. Department of Justice sent the letter on June 15 to Georgia's attorney general and secretary of state. It claims violations of a federal law that requires absentee ballots to be sent to military and overseas residents at least 45 days before federal elections, including runoffs. ( photo courtesy Moriah via Flikr)
The federal government has sent a letter to Georgia officials saying the state's schedule for runoff elections violates federal law on overseas absentee ballots. The U.S. Department of Justice sent the letter on June 15 to Georgia's attorney general and secretary of state. It claims violations of a federal law that requires absentee ballots to be sent to military and overseas residents at least 45 days before federal elections, including runoffs. ( photo courtesy Moriah via Flikr)
The U.S. Department of Justice has sent a letter to Georgia officials saying the state's schedule for runoff elections violates federal law on overseas absentee ballots.


States are required to mail ballots least 45 days before federal elections, including runoffs.


Georgia's state primary runoff is scheduled for three weeks after the state primary election, and Georgia's general election runoff is scheduled for four weeks following the general election.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp says the state isn't doing anything wrong. He says the state was one of the first to comply with the Move Act, legislation to encourage the military to vote.

In 2010 Georgia implemented electronic ballots for overseas voters.


Kemp says that’s cut the voting time in half.

“Cause we’re not having to have the county mail the ballot out and then get that ballot to the soldier. So basically as soon as they request the ballot we send them an email saying your ballot is available through our MY VOTER PAGE website that’s on the Secretary of State’s website.”

The Justice Department is threatening to sue the state if the matter isn’t resolved quickly.

Kemp says the state is prepared to defend itself. He says he’s frustrated that the Justice Department waited until the state is already preparing for the election before bringing up the matter.

“Well I guess they’ll have to make a decision whether they really want to sue us or not. And if they do we’re prepared to defend ourselves and the laws we have in Georgia”