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Subject 183-1-14 ABSENTEE VOTING

Rule 183-1-14-.01 Absentee Ballot Envelope; Definition of Advanced Age; Use of Symbols

(1) For purposes of applying O.C.G.A. § 21-2-381(a)(1)(G), "advanced age" shall mean any elector who is 65 years of age or older at the time of the absentee ballot request.
(2) For purposes of applying O.C.G.A. § 21-2-381(a)(1)(G), an elector meets the criteria of "disability" when the elector (a) has a physical disability and (b) informs the registrar of his or her status as disabled at the time of the absentee ballot request.
(3) Registrars or absentee ballot clerks shall, in a visible and legible manner, note symbols on the return absentee ballot oath envelope to designate the category under which an absentee elector applied for his or her ballot. Suggested symbols include:

E - Elderly or of advanced age (65 years of age or older),

D - Disabled physically,

MOS - Military overseas,

MST - Military stateside,

OST - Overseas temporary,

OSP - Overseas permanent resident,

NR - No reason is provided.

To facilitate ballot tabulation, registrars or absentee ballot clerks shall note on the face of the absentee oath envelope the absentee elector's precinct and, in the case of a primary or primary runoff, the party in whose primary or primary runoff the elector is voting and "MIDR" if the voter is voting for the first time pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-417(c).

Rule 183-1-14-.02 Advance Voting

(1) All federal, state, and county primaries and elections shall be conducted using electronic ballot markers and ballot scanners for in-person absentee voting during the advance voting period. As used in this rule, the term "registrar" or "registrars" means a county board of registrars, a county board of elections and registration, a joint county-municipal board of elections and registration, a municipal absentee ballot clerk, a municipal registrar, or the designee of a board of registrars, board of elections and registration, or joint county-municipal board of elections and registration.
(2) The registrar shall publish the times, dates. and locations of the availability of advance voting in their jurisdiction on the homepage of the county's publicly accessible website associated with elections and/or registrations, or if the county does not have such a website, in a newspaper of general circulation and by posting in a prominent location in the county, no later than 7 days prior to the beginning of the advance voting period. Any additional advance voting locations added after that deadline shall be published as soon as possible. The registrar shall endeavor not to remove or alter any advance voting locations after they are published, unless there are emergency or unforeseen circumstances make such a change necessary, in which case the registrar shall publish those changes as soon as possible.
(3) Electronic ballot markers and ballot scanners shall be configured and tested in accordance with the provisions of Rule 183-1-12-.08 prior to use in advance voting. Public notice of the time and place for such configuration and testing of the electronic ballot markers and ballot scanners to be used for advance voting shall be given in accordance with O.C.G.A. §§ 21-2-374 and 21-2-379.25 and Rule 183-1-12-.08 prior to such configuration and testing.
(4) The electronic ballot markers and ballot scanners to be used for advance voting shall be set up in a manner to assure the privacy of the elector while casting his or her ballot while maintaining the security of such components against tampering, damage, or other improper conduct. In addition, there shall be at least one electronic ballot marker configured for use by physically disabled electors. at each advance voting location.
(5) Voter access cards for use in electronic ballot markers for advance voting may be encoded by use of an electronic poll book or other device approved by the Secretary of State. The registrar may also utilize the correct access code to manually bring up the correct ballot on the touchscreen.
(6) Magnifying devices shall be available at advance voting locations to assist voters in reviewing their paper ballots.
(7) On the first day of the advance voting period, prior to any votes being cast on ballot scanners, the registrars shall verify that the seals for each electronic ballot marker, ballot scanner, and ballot box are intact and that there is no evidence or indication of any tampering with the seal or the component. The registrars shall verify that the number of the seal matches the number of the seal recorded for that component when such component was prepared by the election superintendent for the primary, election, or runoff. If a seal number does not match or if there is any evidence or indication of tampering with the seal or component, the election superintendent shall be immediately notified and such component shall not be used until such matters are resolved by agreement of the election superintendent and the registrars. The set up shall be performed in public and the public may view the set up subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as the registrars may deem appropriate to protect the security of the voting system components and to prevent interference with the duties of the registrars. The registrars and two witnesses sworn as poll officers as provided in O.C.G.A. §§ 21-2-94 and 21-2-95 shall run a zero tape on each ballot scanner prior to the beginning of advance voting on those scanners, and the registrar and the two witnesses shall sign the zero tape in the space provided. The registrars shall verify that the electronic ballot markers and ballot scanners all indicate zero counts prior to the opening of the polls. If the tape does not show zero votes prior to the start of voting, the election superintendent shall be immediately notified and such component shall not be used until the component is cleared and the matter is resolved by agreement of the election superintendent and the registrars. The registrar and the same two sworn witnesses who signed the zero tape shall inspect and confirm that the ballot box associated with that scanner is empty and contains no ballots or other unauthorized matter, and shall verify that fact in writing on a form to be developed by the Secretary of State. Such form shall include the date and time it was executed, shall be attached to the zero tape generated by the ballot scanner attached to that ballot box, and shall be returned to the election superintendent at the close of the advance voting period with the other paperwork from the voting location. The registrars shall verify that there is no unauthorized matter affixed to the electronic ballot markers, ballot scanners, or voting booths. The registrars shall affix a card of instructions for voting within each voting booth. Prior to voters entering the voting booth, the registrars may also distribute to such voters a card of instructions for voting that has been approved or provided by the Secretary of State.
(8) If at the close of voting on any day during the advance voting period, there are more than 1,500 ballots inside any ballot box, the registrar and two sworn witnesses shall unseal the ballot box, remove the paper ballots, and place the ballots in one or more durable, portable, secure, and sealable containers. The registrars shall complete and affix to each container a form identifying the advance voting location, the advance voting dates that the ballots were cast, the ballot scanner serial number, the number assigned to that ballot scanner for that specific election, the count of the ballots from the ballot scanner, and the date and time that the ballot box was emptied. The container shall be sealed and signed by the registrar and the two witnesses such that it cannot be opened without breaking the seal. The ballot box shall be resealed, and the new seal numbers shall be documented. The registrar and at least one sworn witness shall deliver the ballot container to the election superintendent for secured storage until time for the tabulation of votes, and the election superintendent shall complete a chain of custody form indicating the delivery of the secure container. The form shall be signed by the registrar and any witnesses who travelled with the registrar indicating that no sealed documents were unsealed enroute and have not been tampered with. In the discretion of the registrar, the same procedure for emptying the ballot box may be followed if there are less than 1,500 ballots in the ballot box at the end of any advance voting day, but the ballot box shall not be opened while voting is taking place except as authorized by Rule 183-1-12-.10(5).
(9) At the close of voting each day during the advance voting period, the registrars shall document the election counter number from the ballot scanner on the daily recap sheet. The memory cards shall remain in the ballot scanner at all times during the advance voting period until the polls close on the day of the primary, election, or runoff. Each electronic ballot marker, ballot scanner, ballot box, electronic poll book, paper backup poll book, and voter access cards shall then be secured overnight. If the room where advance voting is taking place cannot be locked and secured overnight in the reasonable judgment of the superintendent, the superintendent shall cause the voting system components to be stored in a locked, secure container that is reasonably affixed to the polling place; be under visual surveillance of an election official or their designee, a licensed security guard, or a law enforcement official; or if, if the previously listed options are not feasible, in another manner that in the reasonable judgment of the superintendent secures and protects the voting system components from unauthorized access. Any electronic visual surveillance used for security when voting is not taking place shall not record, capture, or otherwise compromise the privacy of an elector's ballot.
(10) Each morning during the advance voting period prior to voting beginning, the registrars shall verify the seal numbers on each electronic ballot marker and ballot scanner to be used for advance voting with the number of the seal recorded on the daily recap sheet from the previous day of advance voting and shall verify that the seals do not show any signs of tampering. If the seal number corresponds to the entry on the daily recap sheet and there is no evidence of tampering, the electronic ballot markers and ballot scanners shall be turned on. If the numbers do not match or there is evidence of tampering, the election superintendent shall be notified immediately and the component shall not be used until such discrepancy is resolved to the satisfaction of the election superintendent and the registrars. After turning on the ballot scanners, the registrars shall verify the election counter number with the number recorded on the daily recap sheet from the previous day of advance voting. If the numbers do not match, the election superintendent shall be immediately notified and the component shall not be used until such discrepancy is resolved to the satisfaction of the election superintendent and the registrars. The election counter number shall then be entered onto the daily recap sheet for that day.
(11) Voters who vote absentee ballots in person shall first complete an absentee ballot application and sign an oath, which may be on the same form and may be on paper or digital. After the registrars determine that the voter is eligible to vote, the registrars shall note the voter's registration number and ballot style on the absentee ballot application. Each voter shall be offered instruction by a registrar in the method of voting on the voting system, including specific instruction to review their printed ballot prior to scanning it. In providing such instruction, the registrar shall not in any manner request, suggest, or seek or persuade or induce any voter to vote any particular ticket or for any particular candidate, or for or against any particular question. The voter shall then be issued a voter access card programmed with the correct ballot style or the registrar shall use the correct access code to manually bring up the correct ballot on the electronic ballot marker. The voter shall then enter the enclosed space in the advance voting location and proceed to vote his or her choices. Upon making his or her selections, the voter shall cause the paper ballot to print, remove his or her printed ballot from the printer, remove the voter access card from the touchscreen unit, review the selections on his or her printed ballot, scan his or her printed ballot into the ballot scanner, and return the voter access card to a poll officer.
(12) The registrars shall cause each advance voting location to be sufficiently staffed. At least one poll officer shall be assigned to assisting voters who have questions while they are in the voting booth, but before they approach the ballot scanner. Another poll officer shall be stationed at every ballot scanner in use in the polling place while voting is occurring. The poll officer stationed at the ballot scanner shall offer each voter specific verbal instruction to review their printed paper ballot prior to scanning it. In addition to the preceding instruction, the poll officer stationed at the ballot scanner shall offer general instruction throughout the period while voting is occurring telling voters that sample ballots and magnifying devices are available to assist them in reviewing their paper ballot. The poll officer shall take all reasonable precautions not to view the selections on an elector's ballot unless it is required due to assistance requested by the elector. If a poll officer observes a voter attempting to leave the enclosed space with a paper ballot, the poll officer shall inform the voter of the consequence of not depositing his or her paper ballot into the ballot scanner prior to leaving the room.
(a) If a voter discovers that the ballot presented on the electronic ballot marker is not correct or, for a partisan primary, is not the ballot that the voter desired to vote, the voter should immediately notify a poll officer. The poll officer shall cancel or void the ballot on the electronic ballot marker without attempting, in any manner, to see how the voter has voted and shall then take the necessary steps to provide the voter with the correct ballot and make any necessary corrections to the voter's certificate of the voter, the electors list, and the numbered list of voters. If the error is due to equipment malfunction, the poll officer shall document the incident on a form developed by the Secretary of State. The poll officer shall inform the election superintendent immediately if one or more electronic ballot markers are associated with a significant number of incidents.
(b) If, while reviewing his or her paper ballot, a voter discovers that the printed ballot does not reflect the voter's desired selections or that the voter was not issued the proper ballot, the voter should immediately inform a poll officer. The poll officer shall spoil the paper ballot and take the necessary steps to allow the voter to make his or her selections again on the electronic ballot marker and cause the correct ballot to be issued. The poll officer shall document the incident on a form circulated by the Secretary of State. The poll manager shall inform the elections superintendent immediately if one or more BMDs are associated with a significant number of incidents.
(13) At the end of the advance voting period, the registrars shall record the election counter number from each ballot scanner on the daily recap sheet. The ballot scanners shall be shut down and sealed. The registrars shall record the seal numbers on the daily recap sheet. The registrar and two sworn witnesses shall unseal the ballot box, remove the paper ballots, and place the ballots in one or more durable, portable, secure, and sealable containers. The registrars shall complete and affix to each container a form identifying the advance voting location, the advance voting dates that the ballots were cast, ballot scanner serial number, the number assigned to that ballot scanner for that specific election, the count of the ballots from the ballot scanner, and the date and time that the ballot box was emptied. The container shall be sealed and signed by the registrar and the two witnesses such that it cannot be opened without breaking the seal. The ballot box shall be resealed, and the new seal numbers shall be documented. The registrar and at least one sworn witness shall deliver the ballot container to the election superintendent for secured storage until time for the tabulation of votes, and the election superintendent shall complete a chain of custody form indicating the delivery of the secure container. The form shall be signed by the registrar and any witnesses who travelled with the registrar indicating that no sealed documents were unsealed enroute and have not been tampered with. The ballot scanners and ballot containers shall then be secured until time for the tabulation of votes.
(14) By the close of the polls on the day of the primary, election, or runoff, the registrars shall deliver all of the ballot scanners used for advance voting and all other absentee ballots received to the election superintendent or the tabulating center. The election superintendent or tabulating center personnel shall count all of the absentee ballots in accordance with the procedures required by law and the rules of the State Election Board. The election superintendent or tabulating center personnel shall verify the seal numbers of each ballot scanner with the numbers recorded on the daily recap sheet form and shall inspect each seal and unit to verify that there is no evidence of tampering with the unit. If the seal numbers are not correct or there is evidence of tampering, the Secretary of State and the election superintendent shall be notified immediately and no further action shall be taken with regard to such unit until the reason for the discrepancy has been determined to the satisfaction of the election superintendent.
(15) After verifying the seal number and the integrity of the seal on each ballot scanner, the election superintendent or tabulating center personnel shall open each ballot scanner and turn on the power. The election superintendent or tabulating center personnel shall then compare the numbers shown on the election counters of the ballot scanners with the numbered list of absentee electors and the absentee ballot recap form to verify that there are no discrepancies. If there is a discrepancy, no further action shall be taken until the reason for the discrepancy has been determined to the satisfaction of the election superintendent. The election superintendent or tabulating center personnel shall cause each ballot scanner to print a minimum of three tapes showing the vote totals as cast on that ballot scanner. Three witnesses shall sign each of the tapes or shall write on the tapes the reason why they will not sign the tapes. One copy of the results tape for each ballot scanner shall be made available for the information of the public. One tape shall be placed into an envelope (or reusable document storage container suitable for the same purpose), provided by the election superintendent along with "poll worker" memory cards from the ballot scanner. The envelope shall be sealed by the poll manager and the same two witnesses who signed the tape such that the envelope cannot be opened without breaking such seal. The envelope shall be initialed by the poll manager and the two witnesses indicating that it contains the correct tape and memory card from the indicated ballot scanner. The envelope shall be labelled with the name of the polling place, the serial number of the ballot scanner, and the number assigned to the ballot scanner for that election. The third tape shall be placed into another envelope with the absentee ballot recap form.
(16) After completing the printing of the results, the ballot scanner shall be turned off, secured, and resealed. The ballot scanners shall then be placed in a secure area with appropriate climate control. The envelopes containing the memory cards and results tapes, voter access cards, poll worker cards, ballot encoder devices, numbered lists of absentee voters, absentee ballot recap forms, and other such paperwork shall be transported to the office of the election superintendent by the election superintendent or tabulating center personal, which transportation shall at all times involve at least two authorized individuals. The office of the election superintendent shall receive the materials and shall document delivery. The election superintendent or tabulating center personal who travelled with the materials shall sign a form indicating that no sealed documents were unsealed enroute and that the materials have not been tampered with.
(17) Any notices to the Secretary of State about discrepancies in numbers or seals, zero tapes, or election counters shall also be forwarded to members of the State Election Board, but such information shall be considered confidential if the Secretary of State has initiated an investigation of the matter.

Rule 183-1-14-.03 Provisional Absentee Ballots

(1) Except as otherwise provided by O.C.G.A. § 21-2-220(c), when the registrars receive a request for an absentee ballot from a voter who registered to vote for the first time in this state by mail and has not provided the identification required by O.C.G.A. § 21-2-220, the registrars shall process the request in the same manner as other requests for absentee ballots. If the voter is found to be eligible to vote by absentee ballot, the registrars shall issue a ballot to the voter and mark the outer oath envelope with the code "IR." In addition to the information concerning how to vote the ballot, the registrars shall also enclose with the absentee ballot instructions on providing proper identification and in accessing the free access system to determine if the ballot was counted as required by O.C.G.A. § 21-2-418(e) and (f).
(2) When an absentee ballot is received from a voter who registered to vote for the first time in this state by mail and has not provided the identification required by O.C.G.A. § 21-2-220, except as otherwise provided by O.C.G.A. § 21-2-220(c), the registrars shall process the ballot as other absentee ballots returned by voters. If the ballot is accepted by the registrars but the voter has not provided the required identification, the ballot shall be treated as a provisional ballot and shall be held separate and apart from the other absentee ballots. The registrars shall maintain a numbered list of provisional absentee ballots.
(3) If an absentee voter whose ballot has been accepted but treated as a provisional ballot for failure to provide the required identification provides the required identification prior to the close of the polls on the day of the election, the voter's ballot shall be treated as a regular absentee ballot and the voter shall be switched from the numbered list of provisional absentee voters to the numbered list of regular absentee voters.
(4) As soon as practicable after 12:00 Noon on the day of the primary, election, or runoff, the registrars shall begin to deliver all accepted regular and provisional absentee ballots to the absentee ballot precinct in accordance with law. The provisional absentee ballots shall be retained by the poll officers at the absentee ballot precinct or tabulating center, as the case may be, unopened and shall not be counted. The provisional absentee ballots shall be placed in a secure container for provisional ballots and shall be transferred to the election superintendent with the other absentee ballots and election materials from the absentee ballot precinct or tabulating center, as the case may be.
(5) If, by the end of the period set by law for the verification of provisional ballots, the registrars receive the required identification from an absentee voter who failed initially to provide the required identification, then the registrars shall notify the election superintendent to count the ballot of such voter in the same manner as other verified provisional ballots from the polls. If the registrars do not receive the required identification from such absentee voter by the end of the period set by law for the verification of provisional ballots, the registrars shall notify the election superintendent to not count the ballot and the ballot shall remain unopened and sealed and shall be retained in accordance with law with the other provisional ballots which the registrars did not verify for counting.

Rule 183-1-14-.04 Reporting Requirements for Absentee Ballots

(1) The registrars of each county shall on the 32nd day prior to each statewide general primary and general election submit to the Secretary of State on a form provided by the Secretary of State information concerning absentee ballots requested by electors who are entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1973 ff, et seq., as amended. Such report shall include the number of absentee ballots requested by each such category of absentee voter, the date on which the absentee ballots were available in the registrars' office, and the date on which the ballots requested by such voters were sent to the voters. The Secretary of State may request further information related to the application for and the transmittal of such ballots.
(2) The report shall be submitted to the Secretary of State either by facsimile or other electronic means on the 32nd day prior to each statewide general primary and general election.

Rule 183-1-14-.05 State Write-In Absentee Ballot

(a) The Secretary of State shall design a state write-in absentee ballot for use in runoff primaries and runoff elections by an elector of this state who resides outside the county or the municipality in which the election is being conducted and is:
(1) a member of the armed forces of the United States, a member of the merchant marine of the United States, a member of the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or a spouse or dependent of such member residing with or accompanying said member; or
(2) A citizen of the United States residing outside the United States.
(b) Such state write-in absentee ballot shall be designed in such a manner as to permit the person voting such ballot to write-in the name of a candidate or candidates for state offices that are elected on a state-wide basis and for all federal offices in a runoff primary or runoff election. Such state write-in ballot shall automatically be included with any absentee ballot sent to such eligible electors for any general primary or general election. No special request for such ballot shall be required in such circumstances.
(c) Such ballot shall either have attached to or have included with such ballot two envelopes. One envelope shall have printed on such envelope the words "Official State Write-In Absentee Ballot" and nothing else. The other envelope shall be designed such that the first envelope will fit inside it and shall have printed on one side the absentee elector oath and the other side shall contain a place for the elector to address the ballot to the appropriate board of registrars or board of elections and registration in this state for mailing.
(d) The Secretary of State shall prepare and print instructions for completing and returning such ballot that shall also be enclosed with such ballot. The state write-in absentee ballot, the envelopes for returning it, and the instructions shall be enclosed with the regular absentee ballot, envelopes, and instructions for completing and returning the regular absentee ballot.
(e) Such ballots shall be made available in a downloadable electronic form on the Secretary of State's website as well as in printed form. Additionally, the Secretary of State and the county registrars shall provide for the transmission of such blank ballots by facsimile transmission and electronic mail transmission to electors. Instructions for voting such ballots shall be included on the website and shall accompany any facsimile and electronic mail ballot transmissions. Voted ballots shall not be returned by facsimile or electronic mail.
(f) As soon as practicable after a general primary or general election, the Secretary of State shall cause to be published on the official website of the Secretary of State a list of all federal offices and state offices in which there will be a runoff primary or runoff election, as the case may be, along with the names of the candidates who will be on the ballot in such runoff.
(g) If an elector obtains the ballot by facsimile or by downloading from electronic mail or the Secretary of State's website, the elector shall return the ballot by mail using two envelopes. The elector shall enclose and seal the ballot in a plain envelope and insert that envelope into another envelope for transmission to the registrars. The elector shall copy and sign the appropriate oath onto the back of the outer envelope. The Secretary of State shall provide a sample envelope and oath form on the Secretary of State's website in such a manner that such form may be used by an elector to print out the forms for the purpose of pasting or attaching such forms to an envelope for returning the ballot or for printing an envelope for returning the ballot.
(h) If the registrars receive both the official absentee runoff ballot and the state write-in absentee ballot from an elector during the time period for receiving such ballots, the registrars shall submit only the official absentee runoff ballot for counting. In such case, the state write-in absentee ballot shall be handled in the same manner as ballots that are received too late for counting. In order to ensure that the correct ballot is counted, the registrars shall hold the ballots of individuals to whom both an official absentee runoff ballot and a state write-in ballot have been sent until the close of the absentee voting period before submitting such ballots for counting.
(i) The failure of an elector to seal the ballot in an inner envelope alone shall not be grounds for rejecting such ballot. The failure of the elector to complete the oath required of absentee voters on the outer envelope shall be cause to reject such ballot.

Rule 183-1-14-.06 Spoiled Absentee Ballots

(1) When an absentee ballot is spoiled, the elector may write "Spoiled" across the face of the ballot, then fold the ballot and enclose and securely seal the same in the envelope on which is printed "Official Absentee Ballot." This envelope shall then be placed in the second one, on which is printed the form of the oath of the elector, the name, relationship, and oath of the person assisting, if any, and other required identifying information. The elector shall then fill out the required information on such envelope, without the requirement to subscribe or swear to the oath printed on such envelope. Such envelope shall then be securely sealed and the elector shall write across the face of the envelope "Spoiled" and then mail or personally deliver same to the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk in accordance with O.C.G.A. Section 21-2-385.
(2) Upon receipt of an absentee ballot upon which the word "Spoiled" has been written across the face of the envelope, a registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall write the day and hour of the receipt of the ballot on its envelope. The registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall, within two days after the receipt of such ballot, mail or issue another official absentee ballot to the elector. All returned spoiled ballots shall be safely kept unopened by the board or absentee ballot clerk and then transferred to the appropriate clerk for storage for the period of time required for the preservation of ballots used at the primary or election and shall then, without being opened, be destroyed in like manner as the used ballots of the primary or election.
(3) The directions that explain how to cast a vote and how to obtain a new ballot after one is spoiled shall appear immediately under the caption on the ballot in substantially the following form as appropriate for that particular primary or election:

To vote, use black or blue ink to mark the ballot. Completely fill-in the empty oval to the left of the candidate name or choice in all races you wish to vote. If voting for a Write-In Candidate, completely fill-in the empty oval to the left of the write in selection, then write the name of the write-in candidate in the space provided.

Warning, do not use red ink or a felt tip pen to mark the ballot. Do not circle, underline, or mark through ballot choices. Do not use "check" marks or an "X" to mark your ballot. Do not mark more choices per race than allowed. Do not sign, cut, tear, or damage the ballot.

If you change your mind or make a mistake on a selection, do not attempt to mark through the selection or attempt to erase. write "Spoiled" across the face of the ballot and across the return envelope. Mail or return the spoiled ballot and envelope to your county board of registrars, and a new official absentee ballot will be mailed to you.

If you decide to vote in-person, surrender the ballot to the poll manager of an early voting site within your county or the precinct to which you are assigned. You will then be permitted to vote a regular ballot.

"I understand that the offer or acceptance of money or another object of value to vote for any particular candidate, list of candidates, issue, or list of issues included in this election constitutes an act of voter fraud and is a felony under Georgia law." See O.C.G.A. §§ 21-2-284(e), 21-2-285(h), and 21-2-383(a).

Rule 183-1-14-.07 Spoiled Ballot Definition

(1) Definitions. As used in these rules and the Georgia Election Code, the term:
(a) "Spoiled ballot" includes a ballot
1. that has been torn, defaced, or physically deformed;
2. on which there are cast more than the permitted number of votes;
3. that has been completed in a manner which is illegible or incomprehensible;
4. that contains writing which compromises the secrecy of the ballot;
5. that is marked improperly, inappropriately, or in such a way that it would be rejected;
6. that was issued in error by the election official; or
7. that contains the wrong precinct, party, or style.
(2) A spoiled ballot shall not be reinstated.

Rule 183-1-14-.08 Additional Sites as Additional Registrar's Offices or Places of Regitration for Absentee Ballots

(1) Definitions. As used in this Rule and O.C.G.A. Section 21-2-382, the term:
(a) "Government building generally accessible to the public" means any building or structure which is used by the public:
1. that is owned, leased, operated, or used by, the State of Georgia, its agencies and authorities, and any political subdivision of the state, municipal corporation, or local board or authority created by general, local, or special Act of the General Assembly or by ordinance or resolution of the governing body of a county or municipal corporation individually or jointly with other political subdivisions or municipalities of the State; and
2. that is constructed or renovated in whole or in part by use of state, county, or municipal funds; the funds of any political subdivision of the State; or, to the extent not required otherwise by federal law or regulations and not beyond the power of the State to regulate, federal funds.
(2) A board of registrars may establish additional sites as additional registrar's offices or places of registration for the purpose of receiving absentee ballots under O.C.G.A. Section 21-2-381 and for the purpose of voting absentee ballots under O.C.G.A. Section 21-2-385. Whenever practicable, a branch of the county courthouse, a courthouse annex, a government service center providing general government services, or another government building generally accessible to the public shall be utilized for such additional sites.

Rule 183-1-14-.09 Voted Absentee Ballots

(1) Definitions. As used in this Rule and O.C.G.A. Section 21-2-388, the phrase:
(a) "An absentee ballot which has been voted" means an absentee ballot that has been returned to and received by the board of registrars and has been certified in accordance with subsection (a) of O.C.G.A. Section 21-2-386 by the board of registrars.
(2) When an absentee ballot which has been voted shall be returned to and received by the board of registrars, it shall be deemed to have been voted then and there; and no other ballot shall be issued to the same elector. If the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk rejects or otherwise fails to certify an absentee ballot in accordance with subsection (a) of O.C.G.A. Section 21-2-386, the elector shall be provided the opportunity to vote in the primary, election, or runoff either by applying for a second absentee ballot prior to the day before such primary, election, or runoff or by voting in person at the elector's polling place on the day of the primary, election, or runoff.

Rule 183-1-14-.10 Acceptance of Absentee Ballots From Military and Overseas Citizens

Absentee ballots cast in a primary, election, or runoff by eligible electors who reside outside the county or municipality in which the primary, election, or runoff is held are members of the armed forces of the United States, members of the merchant marine of the United States, spouses or dependents of members of the armed forces or merchant marine residing with or accompanying such member, or overseas citizens that are received by United States Mail or commercial courier, without bearing a postmark, and within the three-day period following such primary, election, or runoff, if proper in all other respects, shall be valid ballots and shall be counted and included in the certified election results.

Rule 183-1-14-.11 Mailing and Issuance of Ballots

During early voting, as additional applicants for absentee ballots are determined to be eligible, the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall mail or issue official absentee ballots or provisional absentee ballots, if appropriate, to such additional applicants immediately upon determining their eligibility. The board or clerk shall make such determination and mail or issue official absentee ballots; provisional absentee ballots, if appropriate, or notices of rejection of absentee ballot applications to such additional applicants within 3 business days after receiving the absentee ballot applications.

Rule 183-1-14-.12 Eligibility of Application for Absentee Ballot

(1) The application for an absentee ballot shall be in writing and shall contain sufficient information for proper identification of the elector. To be deemed sufficient, an application for an absentee ballot must contain the signature of the applicant.
(a) In the case of the elector making such application for an absentee ballot, the application shall contain the signature of such elector.
(b) In the case of a relative making an application on behalf of an elector pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-381(a)(1)(B), the application shall contain the signature of the elector's relative as well as the relationship of the relative to the elector.
(2) Any person or entity, except an election superintendent or registrar, that creates an application for absentee ballot form for an elector, other than the elector themselves, shall ensure that the absentee ballot form is substantially in the same form as the application for absentee ballot form made available by the Secretary of State. Such person or entity shall also clearly disclose on the face of the application for absentee ballot form that they created the application for absentee ballot form. Any nonconforming application for absentee ballot shall still be processed if it meets the legal requirements of O.C.G.A. § 21-2-381(a).

Rule 183-1-14-.13 Prompt Notification of Absentee Ballot Rejection

When a timely submitted absentee ballot is rejected, the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall send the elector notice of such rejection and opportunity to cure by mailing written notice, and attempt to notify the elector by telephone and email, if a telephone number or email is on the elector's voter registration record or absentee ballot application, no later than the close of business on the third business day after receiving the absentee ballot. However, for any timely submitted absentee ballot that is rejected within eleven days of Election Day, the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall send the elector notice of such rejection and opportunity to cure by mailing written notice, and attempt to notify the elector by telephone and email, if a telephone number or email is on the elector's voter registration record or absentee ballot application, no later than close of business on the next business day.