ATLANTA - Georgia’s presidential primary election has been delayed again due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Due to the Governor’s extension of the state of emergency through a time period that includes almost every day of in-person voting for an election on May 19, and after careful consideration, I am now comfortable exercising the authority vested in me by Georgia law to postpone the primary election until June 9,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
The election, which was originally scheduled for March 24, was previously moved to May 19, but election officials said the additional three weeks will give Raffensperger's office and counties extra time to work on contingency plans. It will also allow them to train additional poll workers and get the supplies necessary to properly clean equipment to keep poll workers safe.
“I certainly realize that every difficulty will not be completely solved by the time in-person voting begins for the June 9 election, but elections must happen even in less than ideal circumstances,” said Raffensperger. “Just like our brave healthcare workers and first responders, our county election officials and poll workers are undertaking work critical to our democracy, and they will continue to do this critical work with all the challenges that the current crisis has brought forth."
For many people, the presidential primaries will provide the first chance to use Georgia's new voting machines. The $104 million system combines electronic voting with a printed out paper ballot. It's the first time in 18 years, votes will be recorded on new machines in the state.
The voter registration deadline for the June 9 election will be May 11 with early voting beginning on May 18. Moving the primary election will move the primary runoff to August 11.
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