More than 122,000 Cobb residents have requested absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 general election as of Wednesday night, according to county elections head Janine Eveler.
The figure is more than four times the total number requested in the last presidential election, when 28,000 absentee ballots were requested and 24,000 ultimately submitted, according to Eveler.
The Cobb elections department has promoted the use of absentee ballots this year to limit potential spread of the virus at polls and reduce wait times for people who opt to vote in-person. Sanitation and social distancing measures were partly to blame for long wait times at some polls during the June 9 primary, Eveler has said.
In response to voters’ complaints about those lines, however, the Cobb elections department will increase the number of voting machines ahead of the November election.
Some 10,000 people have registered to vote since the primary, bringing the total number of registered voters in the county to 526,133 — a 25% increase since the 2016 general election.
The elections department was scheduled to begin mailing absentee ballots Thursday or Friday, Eveler said.
Voters can mail their absentee ballots or leave them at one of 10 county drop boxes beginning Saturday. Four drop boxes were available during the primary, and two more were installed before the Aug. 11 runoff.
The four drop boxes making their debut Saturday are:
♦ West Cobb Regional Library, 1750 Dennis Kemp Lane, Kennesaw
♦ Cobb Fire Station 8, 2380 N. Cobb Parkway, Kennesaw
♦ Sewell Mill Library & Cultural Center, 2051 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta
♦ Windy Hill Community Center, 1885 Roswell St. SE, Smyrna
Existing locations are:
♦ East Cobb Government Service Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta
♦ South Cobb Government Service Center, 4700 Austell Road, Austell
♦ North Cobb Regional Library, 3535 Old 41 Hwy NW, Kennesaw
♦ Elections Main Office, 736 Whitlock Avenue, Marietta
♦ Cobb County Fire Station 13, 4640 Dallas Hwy, Marietta
♦ Cobb County Fire Station 4, 1901 Cumberland Pkwy SE, Atlanta
Another six drop boxes will likely come online next week, Eveler said, after the department installs required security cameras at the following sites:
♦ Animal Services, 1060 Al Bishop Drive, SW, Marietta
♦ South Cobb Library, 805 Clay St., Mableton
♦ Powder Springs Library, 4181 Atlanta St., Powder Springs
♦ Mountain View Library, 3320 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta
♦ Gritters Library, 880 Shaw Park Road, Marietta
♦ South Cobb Rec Center, 875 Riverside Parkway, Austell
County voters can apply for an absentee ballot at cobbcounty.org/elections or at the Georgia Secretary of State’s website. They can return their completed absentee ballot requests to the county elections department in-person or by mail, fax or email.