Georgia nursing home residents say their absentee ballots haven't arrived

The Georgia Secretary of State's Office is investigating after several seniors at a south Atlanta nursing home claimed they requested absentee ballots that never came.

Senior advocate Miriam Miller spent all day Thursday carrying residents from Bontanna Nursing Home off Cleveland Avenue to the polls in her personal car.

She and another volunteer picked up 74-year-old Maxine Worthy Thomas and placed her in a wheelchair to ensure she was able to exercise her right to vote.

Ms. Miller said she was forced to do this after she says 36 absentee ballots never showed up for Bonterra Nursing home residents Ms. Thomas, Clifton Depree, and several others.


Ms. Miller says she knew they were registered because she handled that several months ago.

"I personally walked their 40 voter registration forms into the downtown office and they said we will take it from here. So, I am thinking everything is fine," the senior advocate said.

Ms. Miller says many of the residents who requested ballots are immobile or bedridden and will likely be disenfranchised by election officials.

"The lady told me they didn't get it and it's too late for the absentee ballot, so get a church van. I said at this late date where can I get a church van? These 40 people want to vote and they can't," Ms. Miller said with disgust.

FOX 5 contacted the Fulton County Elections Office and the Georgia Secretary of State's Office to find out what happened. Fulton County officials at first said only 19 residents are registered to vote at the nursing home address. They later changed that to 21. State officials deferred to Fulton County.


"Fulton County says we got four requests, we sent out four ballots. It is odd that they are saying 40 requests... Something is not adding up yet. I am not sure what it is," said Gabriel Sterling with the Georgia Secretary of State's Office.

State officials say if anyone has not received an absentee ballot by now, they should make plans to vote in person.

The state has launched an official investigation into what went wrong and why it happened.