Presidential Preference Primary Postponed Due To Public Health Emergency
Advanced Voting Ends Early | Video demo of new paper ballot system
Secretary of State Raffensperger postpones the Presidential Preference Primary to May 19 to coincide with elections already scheduled for that date. There was one week left of advanced in-person voting with a total of 885 casting their ballots on the new system. 53 of those voters took advantage of Saturday voting.
Below is the press release by Secretary of State Raffensperger:
ATLANTA (3/14/2020) -- In light of the public health emergency posed by COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, in-person voting presents increased risk to voters and poll workers. Governor Kemp has declared a public health emergency. President Trump has declared a national emergency, said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. "Events are moving rapidly and my highest priority is protecting the health of our poll workers, their families, and the community at large."
Maintaining the integrity of the election depends on the talents of poll workers who are in the high-risk group because their average age is over 70. So concern for their health is a central consideration in this decision.
"Our priority is to protect the health and safety of all Georgians and to ensure that as many Georgians as possible have an opportunity to vote," said State Senator Nikema Williams, the Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia. "Continued in-person voting could compromise both goals. Georgians who have already cast their vote in person or by mail for the March 24 primary will be able to vote again in the May 19 primary for the elections already scheduled for that date. If Georgians who have already cast their vote for the March 24 primary do not vote again in the May 19 primary, their votes for the presidential preference primary will still count."
Secretary Raffensperger has represented that all votes already cast in person and all absentee ballots will be counted and every Georgia voter that has not yet had a chance to cast a ballot in the March 24 elections will be able to do so on May 19, along with the elections already scheduled for that date."
"Given these circumstances, I believe it is necessary and prudent to suspend in-person voting in the Presidential Preference Primary, and the local elections associated with them, and resume in-person voting for those elections as part of the already scheduled May 19 General Primary."
The CDC recommends those, including seniors, who are at greater risk from COVID-19 limit their exposure to the virus by keeping space between themselves and others, avoiding crowds, and staying at home during outbreaks in their community. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has likewise identified individuals 65-years-old and older as facing increased risk from COVID-19. He explained that older Americans infected with COVID-19 stand a greater risk of serious difficulty and even death from the virus. All individuals should practice social distancing and minimize contact with others to minimize the risk to them and others.
With this decision, Secretary Raffensperger looks to confront the public health threat to our state, and the health of Georgians, while also maintaining an avenue for the people of Georgia to exercise their fundamental democratic right to vote. In the midst of a public health emergency like the one facing our state, taking strong action to protect all Georgians, including its dedicated poll workers, is paramount.
UPDATE (3/13/2020): Pickens County Board of Elections & Registration would like to encourage all voters to take advantage of Advanced Voting at this time. Due to concerns from the coronavirus (COVID-19), we anticipate that the time required to vote in the upcoming Presidential Preference Primary on March 24th will be significantly increased. To avoid longer wait times, we strongly encourage you to vote early at 83 Pioneer Rd during regular office hours (Mon-Fri) 8-5. The Saturday Voting will take place at the Elections Office from 9-4 on March 14th.
Julianne Roberts, Supervisor
Pickens County Elections & Registration
Advance voting for the March 24 Presidential Preference Primary started today Monday, March 2, 2020 at the Board of Elections Office at 83 Pioneer Road in Jasper (next to Chattahoochee Tech).
View the video above for a demo of the new paper ballot voting machines by Julianne Roberts, Supervisior at Pickens County Board of Elections and Registration.
Vote Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm through March 20th. Saturday voting is March 14 from 9 am to 4 pm.
Democratic and Republican Sample Ballots (PDF)
Check registration status @ www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do