The difference between absentee ballots and polling ballots in Georgia is as follows:
The polling ballot header reads “Official Ballot” while the absentee ballot reads “Official Absentee Ballot”.
The instructions to the voter are significantly different (including a different Code citation) and therefore, separate headers are created.
Finally, Georgia law specifically requires a different ballot for polling and absentee (I’ll get the Code citations and language).
The @vgroup macro sounds intriguing for the “Official / Absentee Ballot” header. I will also try creating the races with no candidates and associating each with their respective vgroup2 (perhaps as a solution to the separate instructions header problem).
It’s a dumb law, and this is the only place I’ve heard of that requires this, but here we are. Of course, having the printer typeset these things is available as a solution, although the Georgia customers are not enamored of it.
Okay, I have reviewed this and it appears that GEMS unfortunately does not handle (and has not ever)the above case. Significant headers can be used to put a header on only the democratic ballot, but they cannot be used to force a democratic ballot when there are no democratic races.
For 1.11 at least, the best I can offer is a work around. Create a race with no candidates as a psudo significant header. This race will differentiate the ballots for GEMS. This race can be the "Official Ballot" header, or something more inert like a seperator with actual significant headers in turn attached to it.
What exactly is the difference between the absentee and polling header in Gwinnett anyway? If it is something simple like displaying "Official" instead of "Absentee", we might be able to handle this with an @vgroup macro in the same spirit as the @precinct macro, without a major GEMS upgrade.