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Mailed ballots in Georgia will be counted, even without a stamp

Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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The cost of a stamp to vote by mail in Georgia’s primary has been criticized in a recent lawsuit as an unconstitutional poll tax and an obstacle to casting your ballot.

But postage to return absentee ballots isn’t truly required, no matter what voters have been told.

The U.S. Postal Service has a long-standing policy of delivering absentee ballots even if they lack sufficient postage, usually at least the cost of a 55-cent first-class stamp, depending on the weight of the ballot.

So while voters will be asked to pay for postage, they don’t really have to. It’s probably safer to add stamps, but mail carriers are told to deliver ballot envelopes labeled as “official election mail.”

Mailed-in ballots are expected to arrive in droves before the June 9 primary after Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sent absentee ballot request forms to Georgia’s 6.9 million active voters. They’re being encouraged to vote from home and avoid human contact at the polls during the coronavirus pandemic.

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