Thu., July 12, 2012 3:02pm (EDT)

Georgia Prepares For Runoffs
By Ellen Reinhardt
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Georgia’s Secretary of State has come up with a plan to ensure the state is complying with federal election law regarding absentee ballots in the runoff for the primaries. But  Brian Kemp doesn’t believe this will end the Justice Department’s concerns.  The federal Department of Justice sued the state, saying Georgia didn’t allow enough time for absentee voters to cast a ballot if there is a runoff in the primary congressional races.  Secretary of State Brian Kemp says Georgia is complying with a federal judge’s order to extend the time absentee ballots are accepted to August 31st.(photo courtesy of Brian Turner)
Georgia’s Secretary of State has come up with a plan to ensure the state is complying with federal election law regarding absentee ballots in the runoff for the primaries. But Brian Kemp doesn’t believe this will end the Justice Department’s concerns. The federal Department of Justice sued the state, saying Georgia didn’t allow enough time for absentee voters to cast a ballot if there is a runoff in the primary congressional races. Secretary of State Brian Kemp says Georgia is complying with a federal judge’s order to extend the time absentee ballots are accepted to August 31st.(photo courtesy of Brian Turner)
Georgia’s Secretary of State has come up with a plan to ensure the state is complying with federal election law regarding absentee ballots in the runoff for the primaries. But Brian Kemp doesn’t believe this will end the Justice Department’s concerns.

The federal Department of Justice sued the state, saying Georgia didn’t allow enough time for absentee voters to cast a ballot if there is a runoff in the primary congressional races.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp says Georgia is complying with a federal judge’s order to extend the time absentee ballots are accepted to August 31st.

His office has also notified affected voters that they have set up a fax line for those in the U.S. as well as an international fax line. Absentee voters can also email their ballots.

While that complies with the judge’s order, Kemp says he expects legal wrangling with the Justice Department will continue.

“On top of what we’re already trying to do to get ready for the July 31st primary, we’ve now gotta meet the requirements of the order. And that is really our priority and what we’re working on. And we’ll worry about the other legal parts later.”

He says he expects the state legislature will have to address the issue next session.

Kemp says a little over a thousand voters might be affected.

“Some of these races we may have runoffs, some we may not. So that number could fluctuate on who would actually need to use this availability or not. And we just won’t know that until after July 31st and we get that election certified.”

The state is sending letters to all absentee voters to explain the process. Kemp says at this point, it’s unclear how much the extra steps will cost Georgia.