Board of Elections adjusts after Georgia’s presidential primary delayed

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the State of Georgia to postpone its presidential preference...
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the State of Georgia to postpone its presidential preference primary.(WTOC)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 7:19 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2020 at 7:20 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia voters will not return to the polls until May 19. The Secretary of State’s Office has postponed the presidential preference primaries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WTOC checked in with the Chatham County Board of Elections to see how they were adjusting to the postponement.

Chatham County Board of Elections Chair Thomas Mahoney says his team is now preparing for May 19, which was originally scheduled as a primary day for several state and local races.

They’re working on a ballot to include the presidential preference primary as well.

The chair says they are still working out the process for those who already voted during the state’s early voting period, which took place earlier this month. The chair says they will not have to vote again in the presidential preference primary but will need to vote in the state and local primaries if they choose to do so.

The chair says they’re also working to train and assign poll workers to the more than 90 Chatham County polling locations. The chair says they had a large group originally planned for today’s primary and hope to see that same support in May. Right now, the board is concern about how they move forward with training since large groups are prohibited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are trying to figure it out. It’s required and mandated unless we get direction from the state that would modify it in some way. So, right now, we are trying to see what we can do with training,” Mahoney said.

Those interested in working as a poll worker should contact their county’s elections office.

With many uncertain about when life will return to normal, WTOC asked if it was possible that the primaries could be delayed even longer.

“I have not heard anything from the state saying that we are not going to go forward with May 19. I think there would certainly be some concerns about postponing it again. We do have daily contact with the Secretary of State’s Office and I know they’re working on these types of issues constantly,” Mahoney added.

The absentee process for May 19 begins next week. With social distancing being so important right now, the board recommends voters request an absentee ballot.

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