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State opening investigation into Cobb County failure to mail ballots to 1,000+ voters

Cobb announced over the weekend that more than a thousand absentee ballots had not been mailed to voters in an oversight attributed to "human error."

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The Georgia Secretary of State's Office said Monday it was opening an investigation into an incident in Cobb County in which more than 1,000 ballots were never mailed to voters who had requested them.

The county announced over the weekend the oversight was a product of "human error."

A consent order signed by a judge on Monday will allow those voters to get their ballot in the mail by Election Day and have it received up through Nov. 14, which is the same deadline for Uniformed and Overseas Voters ballots. They should be postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day. 

The county said that out of 1,036 requests that went unfulfilled through the mailing error, they determined all but about 450 had either gone ahead to vote early in person or had requested a replacement ballot already. They are overnighting ballots to those remaining.

RELATED: Consent order will allow Cobb voters who weren't mailed ballots to have them counted after Election Day

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told 11Alive's Joe Ripley in a statement that "what happened is simply unacceptable, period."

The full statement said:

Elections officials are working hard to rectify the situation regarding absentee ballots in Cobb County, and I appreciate their efforts. But what happened is simply unacceptable, period. My office has opened an investigation, the results of which will be referred to the State Elections Board to determine appropriate consequences.

I cannot comment on the specifics of an ongoing lawsuit but will say generally that extending deadlines could potentially hamper the very important post-election activities that are also required to be completed by time and date certain under Georgia law.

The consent order appears to be the product of a lawsuit that was filed by the ACLU a day earlier, after the revelation about the unmailed ballots.

“I am sorry that this office let these voters down,” Cobb Elections and Registrations Director Janine Eveler said in a statement over the weekend. “Many of the absentee staff have been averaging 80 or more hours per week, and they are exhausted. Still, that is no excuse for such a critical error.”

RELATED: Georgia election guide 2022: Everything you need to know as a Peach State voter

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You can read our full mission statement online. In addition, get more election resources here at 11alive.com/vote.


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