Georgians head to the polls for early voting despite coronavirus concerns
UPDATED 9:49 AM PT — Tuesday, May 19, 2020
The polls opened in Georgia for early voting. On Monday, residents lined up six feet apart as poll workers ramped up measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
In Chatham County, poll workers were required to wash their hands and wipe down machines as well as clip-boards frequently. The county also put up plastic shields, along with other measures, to keep workers and voters safe.
“We have disposable, one-time use stylists that has a pen on one end for you to fill in the information,” explained Colin McRae, chairman of the Chatham County Board of Registrars. “A stylist on the other end for you to push the touch screen.”
According to reports, turn-out was relatively light as the state is receiving a record amount of absentee ballots. So far, over 1.4 million voters have requested absentee ballots.
“We’re really encouraging people to (use absentee ballots) because it will help us manage the different throughput that you’re going to get when you start spacing people out six feet on center when you only have five ballot marking devices instead of 18,” said Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State.
This comes after Georgia postponed it’s March presidential primaries over health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early voting is set for the next three weeks until June 5 and Election Day is slated for June 9.