The eyes of the nation are on Georgia’s two Senate runoffs set for Jan. 5. That means Madison County mailboxes and phones are getting flooded with election messaging.

Madison County Board of Elections and Registration Chair Tracy Dean said none of that is coming from her office unless the voter has contacted her office to request an absentee ballot. But her office has been getting messages from angry citizens who think it’s her office that is bombarding them with mail and messages.

“They think it’s us, but it’s not,” said Dean.

Within the deluge of advertising materials and messages are actual ballot applications, which can be sent by organizations seeking to boost their own candidate. Dean said she hopes the law will be changed to disallow this practice, which she said, creates confusion.

“I would like for applications to come directly from us,” she said.

When Dean and her staff do receive a ballot application that doesn’t originate from the elections office, they check the information against what is in their voter database to verify that it is an actual registered county voter. They do this with all applications. And if this is verified, a ballot is sent to the voter. If that voter then shows up to vote in person, then they can only cast a ballot after the elections office has voided the absentee ballot.

Dean said that as of Friday, 2,300 citizens had requested absentee ballots. The last day absentee ballots will be mailed out by her office is Dec. 31.

Early voting will be held at the elections office at 94 Spring Lake Drive in Danielsville from Dec. 14-18, Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-31 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. There will be no Saturday voting.

The last day to register to vote in the Jan. 5 Senate runoffs is Dec. 7. Those wishing to register can visit the Madison County Board of Elections and Registration office between 8 and 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 7 or register online with the Secretary of State’s office.

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