Nearly one in 10 vote-by-mail ballots have been rejected by Gwinnett County election officials, alarming voting rights groups. Gwinnett is throwing out far more absentee ballots than any other county in Georgia, according to records from the Secretary of State’s Office. Ballots were discarded because of allegedly mismatched signatures, incomplete forms or missing residential addresses. The county rejected 390 absentee ballots through Sunday, which represents 8.5 percent of all mailed ballots received in Gwinnett so far, according to state figures. Across Georgia, less than 2 percent of absentee ballots have been rejected. Gwinnett accounts for about 37 percent of all rejected ballots in Georgia.
“They’re putting an extra burden on someone to come back in to get another absentee ballot. That’s unheard of,” said Helen Butler, executive director for the Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, a civil rights group.
Gwinnett officials didn’t have an explanation for the disproportionate number of rejected absentee ballots — but also denied any wrongdoing.
“I can’t draw any conclusions,” said county spokesman Joe Sorenson on Monday. “I just know that we’re doing this according to state law.”