ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – We’re less than 12 hours away until polls open in Georgia for the primaries after they were postponed twice because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Of the 7 million registered Georgians, voters have cast one point three million ballots combined –with about 326-thousand in person during early voting, and 942-thousand with absentee ballots.
State leaders say the pandemic has resulted in a ten fold increase in absentee ballot votes and the recent protests could bring more people to the polls.
“People who participate in protests are politically activated and it has positive voter mobilization benefits.”Andra Gillespie
One in every four Georgia counties will scan absentee ballots early because of the sheer volume but the votes won’t be tallied until after polls close Tuesday.
“Election officials often use volunteers and many may not be available because of their age or health status.”Andra Gillespie
Health experts say if you vote in person, try to stand 6 feet apart in line, pick a time when it may be less crowded and wear a mask.
“As we have learned more about covid, outside is safer than inside because you have better air flow and not in an enclosed space”Marybeth Sexton, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine
“If you stand apart as far as possible, wear a mask, avoid touching surfaces and hand sanitize after, its’ possible to do this safely.”Marybeth Sexton
“Try to bring anything you may need, a pen, so you don’t have to touch one that others have touched as well.”Marybeth Sexton
The Secretary of State says he won’t release any elections results until the last precinct closes.
Some of the key races in Georgia include the democratic U.S. Senate race. Election staff will release the local results first, and candidates that don’t secure a 50-percent majority will face a run off election on August 11th.
Polls open at 7 A.M. And close at 7 P.M. Tomorrow.
Georgia implemented 30-thousand new voting machines at the start of the election cycle at a price tag of 150-million dollars.
The pandemic has forced about 10 percent of precincts to consolidate so Georgia now has around 244 precincts open for election day — and election leaders have asked polling centers to space out voters so they can practice social distancing.