Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel Issues Mid-Day Election Update

Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel issued the following update on Election Day procedures and management.

“Nearly all of Georgia’s 3,000 voting precincts opened this morning on time and without complication,” Handel said. “The agency’s Office of Inspector General quickly dispatched monitors or technicians to assist poll managers in three precincts that did not open on time, and wait times are averaging from ‘no wait’ to just under an hour statewide. Additionally, the Secretary of State’s Office has received no complaints regarding the photo ID requirement.”

More than 15,000 poll workers are assisting county election officials and precinct managers today at Georgia’s 3,000 voting precincts. Additionally, the Secretary of State’s Office of Inspector General and the Kennesaw State University Center for Election Systems deployed over 150 election monitors, including investigators and technicians, to serve as rapid responders to assist the counties and voters with issues or questions.

This year, the Secretary of State’s office partnered with the Governor’s Office of Customer Service and utilized the Professional Licensing Board call center in Macon to address voters’ questions about elections issues and procedures.

“I want to especially thank Governor Perdue for assisting Georgia’s voters by dedicating the Governor’s Office of Customer Service and 1-800-GEORGIA to answering voters’ questions,” Handel said. “The Office of Customer Service and 1-800-GEORGIA teams answered over 10,000 calls from voters on issues such as finding their early voting and precinct locations, polling hours, and the status of their mail-in ballot. I commend these teams for providing outstanding customer service to their fellow Georgians.”

Handel also credited the record-setting early voting turnout for easing pressures so far at the precincts today. Over 2 million Georgia voted during the early voting period.

The Secretary of State’s Office worked closely for over a year with Georgia’s county election offices in preparation for the 2008 General Election. This includes producing online training materials for county officials; an online poll worker training manual; conducting training seminars during conferences of county election officials, and in numerous regional meetings with county election superintendents; establishing dedicated liaisons for each county within the Elections Division to handle all election-related issues and procedures; and creating the Agency’s first Office of Inspector General to oversee all agency inspectors, investigators and election monitors.

Polls will be open until 7:00 p.m. today. Georgia law provides that any voter in line at 7:00 p.m. shall be permitted to vote. Voters can find registration information, including polling locations and legislative districts, by using the Secretary of State’s Poll Locator at http://www.sos.georgia.gov/Elections or by calling (888) 265-1115. Voters should call (888) 265-1115, 1-800-GEORGIA, or visit http://www.sos.georgia.gov/Elections with any election issues or questions.

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