How Georgia officials are working to keep voters, poll workers safe for June primary

Published: May. 26, 2020 at 6:40 AM EDT
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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — Georgia state officials say they are making sure you're safe at the polls while voting in-person in this year's June 3 primary.

Advance voting has been open for over a week now, but some people will still be voting in person on Election Day.

And officials say the past two months have given them plenty of time to safely prepare the precincts.

The protocols they’re taking are similar to what you'd see in a grocery store — workers wearing masks, markings on the ground and wipedowns of machines after each use.

One thing that looks a lot different this year is the number of absentee voters.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says officials have sent out 1.6 million absentee ballots this year.

For the last presidential primary, they sent out just 30,000.

That means fewer people actually going to the polls, which is good because the state is seeing a shortage of poll workers this year.

The average age of poll workers is 70 years old, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified anyone 60 and older and with underlying health health conditions as at-risk, Raffensperger said.

“So poll workers — some of them — aren’t coming back out to do this,” he said.

If you do come out to vote in person, it’s recommended that you wear a mask.

If a poll worker or voter tests positive for coronavirus at any point, that polling place will be temporarily shut down and disinfected.

About early voting

Voting has started across the two-state region, but instead of heading to the polls, leaders are encouraging one thing: Stay home to vote.

Advance voting for the Georgia primaries started May 8. Georgia leaders have encouraged people not to vote in person and to vote absentee instead.

You can still vote at the Augusta Municipal Building; you will need to wear a mask.

For the latest election information, visit the

Early voting also in underway in South Carolina. You can vote at the county election office or vote absentee by mail. You have to apply to vote by mail but this year, everyone is qualified to do that.

For the latest election information, visit the

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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