Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has referred to Fayette County Director of Elections and Voter Registration Floyd Jones as a “Real Superhero of Elections” for his work in what looks to be a history-making voter turnout.
Raffensperger on Oct. 29 said elections officials across the state are preparing for a historic turnout election, in the middle of pandemic, with more than a possible 5.5 million total voters here in Georgia. In Fayette County, Floyd Jones is leading the Fayette elections team to make sure every legal vote is counted.
More than 57 percent have already voted early and another two million voters are expected to vote on Nov. 3, said Raffensperger.
“Our county election officials are the true superheroes of elections,” said Raffensperger. “These dedicated election officials form the backbone of election administration in Georgia. It is thanks to their hard work and dedication that polls open, votes are counted and Georgians get to share their voice at the ballot box.”
In Fayette County, Floyd Jones is responsible for making sure the county’s 90,291 voters have access to the ballot. County elections officials process and mail absentee ballots, set up early in-person voting and make sure polling locations are open, staffed and equipped for election day on Nov. 3, said Raffensperger.
For his part, Jones said he appreciated the recognition, yet in turn he recognized the work of many others whose efforts make the difference in his office.
“I appreciate that the Secretary of State has designated me as a ‘superhero. The designation was not expected. I too must place credit where it is due- and it is my honor to do so,” Jones said. “When I look around the Elections Office I see many superheroes- those who have taken time away from their families, worked long days and weekends, and sacrificed their day-to-day lives and jobs to ensure the work of elections is done with the highest integrity and accuracy possible.”
Jones said it would be nearly impossible to name those who work alongside him, “But to those who stood in the front lines as the County Registrar, the Chief Deputy Registrar, the Deputy Registrar, the Elections Supervisor, the Technical Team, and the Supply Clerk, enough cannot be said. There are also those who are serving as poll managers and workers, who are mailing and receiving ballots, who are doing tedious jobs and who have all come together as a team in unprecedented and trying times. So while the Secretary of State has designated me a ‘superhero,’ I am proud of them all and they are all superheroes in my estimation.”
“County elections officials stayed in their offices and worked with cobbled-together staff when most government workers stayed home as COVID-19 hit hard,” said Chris Harvey, Georgia Elections Director. “With record turnout, and managing a new voting machine, these officials stayed at their posts and stared COVID down — making sure that record-breaking numbers of Georgians are able to cast ballots.”
Raffensperger said county elections officials are likewise responsible for all the counting of votes. After polls close on election day, polling precinct managers will transmit their election day totals to county officials who will combine those vote totals with early, in-person votes and absentee by mail votes to produce the final results for the county.
In Georgia, county elections officials scan and count absentee by mail ballots at central scanning centers. Earlier this year, the State Election Board passed a rule allowing counties to begin scanning, but not counting, absentee ballots up to two weeks and a day before election day. The state’s new paper-ballot voting system, which divides the scanning of ballots and the tabulating of those ballots into two separate steps, made that possible. Tabulating the already scanned absentee ballots will be as simple as the push of a button after polls close on election day. However, some of Georgia’s counties will still have late arriving ballots to scan and tabulate even after polls close, Raffensperger noted.
Early, in-person vote totals are tabulated by county officials as well. This counting process can also be done with the push of a button when polls close on Nov. 3, speeding up the time to get results.
On election night, said Raffensperger, county officials will have the best perspective on how long it will take for them to process and transmit all of the results from their county. Each county uploads the vote totals directly into the state’s Election Night Reporting website, which will be available on election night at sos.ga.gov. County officials likewise can decide in what order they upload the ballot totals to the state website and whether they wait until all ballots are tabulated to upload results or upload results piecemeal.