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More absentee ballot trouble in Cobb County | Board of Elections say 18 were not counted in 2022 elections

Last year, the county faced a lawsuit and criticism for not sending out more than 1,000 absentee ballots ahead of the November 2022 election.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — At least 18 absentee ballots were not counted last year in two separate elections, the Cobb County Board of Elections announced Friday.

Interim Director Gerry Miller first noticed the uncounted ballots and reported it to the Board which went up the chain to state officials, the board said. 

Five absentee ballots were left out of the count for the May 2022 election. For the November 2022 general election, 13 absentee provisional ballots were not opened.

"An internal investigation determined those ballots should have been counted but were not processed," a statement from the Board read.

However, Chairwoman Tori Silas said the unprocessed ballots would not have impacted election results. Still, Silas said, the Board is taking the issue seriously and has reported it to the Secretary of State's Office.

This issue mounts on top of scrutiny Cobb County experienced during the November 2022 election, when then-Elections and Registrations Director Janine Eveler said 1,046 requested absentee ballots were never mailed. At the time, Cobb County voters had requested more absentee ballots than any other county in Georgia. A lawsuit was filed against the county amid the issue.

Eveler cited Georgia's newest election law, SB202, which required voters to request absentee ballots 78 days before an election - creating a tight turnaround for election officials who now have to send ballots to voters 29 days before an election.

Eveler retired in January after 18 years with the county. Leaders then said they would actively adjust processes for a smoother election in the future, as the state opened a second investigation into county operations.

"Following the 2022 election cycle, we made process improvements, including procedures to track and log ballots when the are received by the office," Silas said in a news release. "The improvements are designed to catch and prevent mistakes such as these."

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