LAWRENCEVILLE - Officials with the Gwinnett Republican and Democratic parties, as well as a voter advocacy group say they are confident votes will be counted, despite news that 19,000 absentee ballots were flawed.
"It sounds like they have it under control," Sarah Shalf of Georgia Election Protection said Friday of the situation, where election officials have plans to duplicate the 10,000 ballots already returned onto the correct forms with a monitored and sequestered voter review panel.
"It sounds like Gwinnett has been proactive, and they are trying to address the problem the best way they can," Shalf said. "It shouldn't be a problem with the outcome."
Both Gregory Howard of the GOP and Michael Berlon of the Democratic Party said they will have people monitoring the duplication process on Election Day.
"I'm fairly confident we will be able to work it out and make sure the votes are counted," Berlon said. "They seem to be taking it very seriously."
Howard agreed, saying both parties would help to ensure the situation is corrected.
"It's too bad it happened, but I've got full faith in our elections board," Howard said, adding that he has watched three recounts and they have all turned out exactly like the original vote count. "It's something that happened and they are doing the best they can to solve it fairly. ... You know they are going to do what they can to make sure every vote is counted."
According to Elections Superintendent Lynn Ledford, 36,842 people voted on electronic voting machines by absentee ballot through Thursday.
This week, the county will open four additional offices to allow early voting. In addition to voting from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Lawrenceville elections office at 455 Grayson Highway, people can vote from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. at:
n Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville.
n George Pierce Community Center, 55 Buford Highway, Suwanee.
n Dacula Activity Building, 2735 Old Auburn Road, Dacula.
n Singleton Road Activity Building, 5220 Singleton Road, Norcross.
Polls throughout Gwinnett will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 4.