DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — A number of local organizations are pushing voters to cast their ballots well ahead of the November election to avoid issues. Fifteen pastors with the DeKalb Pastors Christian Alliance met up this week to kick off their campaign called DeKalb Votes Together.

“Most of us are doing church online, and so we wanted to still touch our people and get our people to vote and vote early,” said Rainbow Park Baptist Church Pastor Steven Dial. “We understand that collectively we are better than we are individually.”

Their goal is to get 25,000 people to vote early. They also want to prevent the long lines and confusion voters faced during the Georgia Primary Election, as well as concerns about absentee ballots getting lost.

“We’re wanting to get involved in it so that people can have a safe place, people that they know and they can trust, and feel comfortable with and they don’t have to worry about third party people and worry about someone stealing their vote,” said Dial.

He says the goal is to provide voter education, motivation and protection, walking voters through the whole process and then, showing them how to make sure their vote is counted.

As of now, 25 churches are involved, and they hope to get up to 50 to participate.

Voters have also voiced concerns about getting absentee ballot applications from third parties.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office says they can’t speak for all third party mailers, but they say most of them are valid.

“The main thing you want to look for is the return address that it’s going to. Make sure it’s going to your county’s registrar and not back to the third party,” said Gabriel Sterling, the Statewide Voting System Implementation Manager.

They’ve launched an online portal as another option for voters to submit absentee ballot requests.

“Starting in mid-September, in a couple of weeks, we’ll begin mailing out the actual absentee ballots,” Sterling said.

The local pastors say they’re encouraged by the portal and improvements made in the voting process, and they say they’ll continue encouraging people to vote.

For details on the DeKalb Votes Together campaign, click here.

Click here for Georgia’s online portal to secure your absentee ballot.

For general voting information, click here.

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