With the Georgia General Assembly’s passage of the Election Integrity Act of 2021, otherwise known as SB202, the application of absentee ballot drop boxes looks significant different in the first statewide elections since the January 5, 2021, federal runoff and special election for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats.
The use of drop boxes in the November 2020 presidential and January 2021 elections were enabled by an emergency rule promulgated by the State Election Board in June of 2020. During the November 2020 election, more than 300 absentee ballot drop boxes were deployed throughout the state, funded with $45 million in “Zuck Bucks” that flowed through the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) into Georgia, according to analysis conducted by Capital Research Center.
On May 3, 2021, six months after the November 3, 2020 presidential election, Fulton County election officials provided The Georgia Star News with a thumb drive containing 30 files those officials said complied with an Open Records Request made by The Star News. The request made to Fulton County was one in a series of Open Records Requests made to all 159 counties in Georgia to produce all chain of custody documents, known as absentee ballot drop box transfer forms, from that election.
Six months after the November 2020 election and after failing on two occasions to produce complete chain of custody documents for absentee ballot drop boxes, the Fulton County Registration & Elections officials advise that “more time is needed.”
Fulton County’s reply to The Georgia Star News came as a response to a follow-up on previously-supplied records related the transfer forms that document the critical chain of custody for absentee ballots deposited over a 41-day voting period in 37 drop boxes placed throughout Fulton County.