With the Nov. 3 general and presidential election coming up, the Paulding County Board of Elections and Registration is setting the record straight as it prepares for what could be a record-breaking day in terms of turnout.
In a news release, the board, plus Deidre Holden, the county’s supervisor for elections and voter registration, and her staff provided some information on the November election.
“It seems that we cannot turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper or go onto social media outlets without seeing negative press about failing elections in the state of Georgia,” Holden said in the release. “Recently I received several emails and text messages copying me on an article published in the NY Times on July 25 titled ‘Anatomy of an Election ‘Meltdown’ in Georgia.’ To say the least, this article concerns me.
“I feel that it is my job as the election supervisor to keep the voters of Paulding County informed and engaged with the electoral process in our county. There are several topics that I would like to address over the next several weeks in news releases in our local papers and on our social media pages. If you have any questions, I urge you to please reach out to us. We are here to serve you, the voters of our county. 770-773-7503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Holden provided the following information and tips on what voters should do prior to and on Election Day:
1. “What happens in other counties in Georgia or in other states does not define Paulding County Elections. Regardless of what the media reported, Paulding County had a VERY successful June election. We had very few issues on Election Day which were resolved very quickly. We were one of the few counties that had results in by 10 p.m. on Election Night. Paulding County Elections does not seek recognition or notoriety. The most important thing to us is conducting our elections with integrity, and transparency with the voters as the most important part of our election process. We want every eligible voter in Paulding County to be able to cast their vote and walk away feeling confident with the process. We do not want our voters to have to stand in line for hours just to cast their vote. We want our voters to be able to trust in the electoral process whether they are casting their vote in person or on a paper absentee ballot. In Paulding County, we work to make sure that every vote counts that is eligible. Your vote is your voice and it is important to us. You are entrusting us with one of the most precious, fundamental rights that we have as Americans and we want to make sure that we do not fail any of you. In Paulding County we take our jobs as election officials very seriously.
2. “We are here to serve you. However, we need your help. You as a voter have responsibilities. Here (are) some helpful ideas on how you can have a successful voting experience in Paulding County:
a. “We need your most updated information BEFORE elections begin. The voter registration deadline is 30 days prior to the election date. If you have an address change, a name change or if you have moved here from another county or state, you have to change your registration or register. This can be done by any of these convenient methods:
i. “The Department of Drivers Services when you obtain a new driver’s license or change your name or address on your driver’s license. This application is sent to us overnight to our election system dashboard for processing. If we are in an election cycle after the registration deadline has passed and the Election Day, your application is placed on hold until we are able to process applications after certification of the election.
ii.” You can register online from the comfort of your home by going to www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. Once you submit your application, it appears on our election system dashboard the next morning and you are processed. If we are in an election cycle after the registration deadline has passed and the Election Day, your application is placed on hold until we are able to process applications after certification of the election.
iii. “There are several locations that you can register in person. The Election Office, Public Assistance Offices, the Department of Public Health, United States Military Recruitment Offices, public libraries, public schools, offices of county and municipal clerks.
iv. “You can request an application by calling the Paulding County Election Office. The most important thing is that you register to vote, or make any changes before the voter registration deadline that is 30 days prior to each election (except runoff elections-they are a continuation of the preceding election).
v. “Once you are registered, within two weeks of the Election Office processing your application, you will receive a precinct card. This card simply informs you of your polling location and your political districts. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE THIS CARD TO VOTE. If you have not received your card, you can print your card by visiting www.mvp.sos.ga.gov, and providing the required information.
vi. “In order for you to be eligible to register to vote, you must be 17½ years of age to submit the application. You must be a resident of the county in which you are registering. You must be a United States citizen. You cannot register if you are serving a felony sentence in which the first offender, nolo contendere pleas or conditional discharge do not apply.
vii. “The Paulding County Election Office DOES NOT send out mass mailings of voter registration applications or make phone calls to register you to vote. If you receive a voter registration application in the mail that you have not requested, it is not from the election office. It is most likely from a third party vendor, or a political party. They will send these to you even if you are registered. They get your name from a list that they purchase from several different sources. Please be cautious in providing your personal information to anyone over the phone. Your voter registration information contains very personal information that you do not want to share with anyone you are unsure of. Please notify us ONLY if you receive an application for someone in your household that is deceased.”
Holden said the next news release will address voting by mail.