Early in-person voting for the June 9 elections and primary began Monday at the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections office.
The Georgia presidential primary, which was originally scheduled for March 24, will be held on June 9 alongside the nonpartisan general election and other primaries, which were originally scheduled for May 19. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger postponed the elections because of the coronavirus.
The ACC Board of Elections will only allow three voters in its office at once to promote social distancing, said Charlotte Sosebee, ACC Board of Elections director, in an email.
Voters won’t be allowed to be within 6 feet of each other and will use a clean stylus pen to select their choices on the ballot marking devices, Sosebee said in the email. The devices and the pen will be cleaned and the office counter area will be disinfected after each voter.
ACC will provide required masks and gloves for poll workers. The board has had 50 poll workers say they would not work due to COVID-19 as of Tuesday, Sosebee said in the email. ACC’s goal is to have 200 poll workers for election day, 50 more than the current 150 poll workers.
State law requires at least three workers per polling location, but ACC prefers to have more than three, Sosebee said in the email. The goal number depends on the type of election and the polling location size.
ACC is reaching out to past election workers who haven’t worked since 2016. Sosebee said in the email they are in contact with Clarke County School District to hire educators, and are working with ACC neighborhood leaders and other local government departments.
The nonpartisan election includes the ACC Commission, the Clarke County Board of Education, local judgeships and state-level judgeships. The primaries include Clarke County sheriff and other local positions, as well as state and federal congressional seats.
The voter registration deadline was May 11. Raffensperger announced in late March that all registered Georgia voters would be mailed absentee ballot request forms for the election. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is June 5, according to an ACC news release.
The board has processed 17,035 absentee ballot applications as of Tuesday, Sosebee said in the email. That’s about 22% of Athens-Clarke County’s approximately 79,000 registered voters.
This article was updated on May 19 to include comments from Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee.
Correction: The board has processed 17,035 absentee ballot applications as of Tuesday, not absentee ballots.