Rockdale County will open one precinct
amidst COVIC-18 pandemic
Georgia’s early in-person voting begins on Monday, May 18, for the general primary on June 9, and Rockdale County elections officials say their plan is in place.
Early in-person voting in Rockdale will take place at one location: 1400 Parker Road, said Rockdale Supervisor of Elections Cynthia Willingham. The early in-person voting period runs May 18 through June 5 and will include Saturday voting, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through May 30.
In DeKalb, there will be 11 precincts open; five in Fulton; and six locations in Gwinnett.
State law requires three weeks of in-person early voting before the June 9 election.
The state’s social distancing guidelines will be enforced at all in-person voting locations throughout Georgia. Voters must stand six feet apart as they wait their turns to enter voting booths, which will be spread out at the various precincts. Hand sanitizer will be available when checking in and poll workers will use cleaning supplies to wipe down the touchscreen voting machines. Poll workers will be wearing masks and gloves.
“The wait times may take longer than usual because of the social distancing,” said Willingham. “The process will begin outside, where we will have tents and tables set up for voters to sign in,” Willingham said.
Poll workers will use a texting system to notify voters who may wait in their vehicles or stand in when they may proceed to cast their ballot, Willingham said. Other counties also are planning to use texting.
Willingham said voting by absentee ballot will continue to be available during the in-person early voting period and voters are encouraged to use that option.. The last day that absentee ballots will be mailed to voters is Friday, June 5.
“We don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to vote. If they’re still hanging on to their application for an absentee ballot, they need to mail that in very quickly so that the ballot is returned to us by election Day, June 9,” Willingham said.
So far, over 212,000Georgia voters have returned absentee ballots for the combined general primary and presidential primary. That number compares to the 2016 primary where only about 37,000 Georgia voters cast absentee-by-mail ballots.
In Rockdale, 13,513 mail-in ballots have been requested, while 4,164 mail-in ballots have been returned to be counted. Rockdale has 62,356 eligible active voters, Willingham said.