Election Day to be big test for social distancing in Georgia

ATLANTA — State and county officials are reminding people who plan to vote on Tuesday in the Georgia presidential preference primary that they need to bring a face mask and be prepared for the possibility of a long wait.

This primary was postponed twice, and a record 1.2 million people have already voted early or absentee.

“It’s going to be a different election day than we have ever seen,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday.

There are fewer polling places to go to in this election, along with fewer poll workers and a whole lot of virus safety because COVID-19.

[Find your voting location here]

You will see social distancing between voters, touch pens so voters don’t have to touch screens, personal protective equipment for poll workers and constant disinfecting.

“With all our health protocols, we are guaranteed to see lines tomorrow. That’s why we spent so much time getting voters to vote absentee,” Raffensperger said.

The Secretary of State said he is looking into complaints of undelivered absentee ballots.


“We have begun an investigation of Fulton County. We are not pleased with the performance of Fulton County,” Raffensperger said.

Channel 2’s Lauren Pozen talked with voters on Monday, who said their early voting experiences were reminiscent of jury duty. But they say it was worth it.

“Voting is very important, especially, I think, in times like now,” said voter Moranda Lanier.

[Long lines and nerves start out first day of early voting for primary]

Lanier says she's been voting since she was 18 years old.

Last Friday, Lanier and her husband took part in the final day of early voting in Gwinnett County.

She says it took a little longer than they expected.

“We were thinking we were going to get in and out but we were there for like two hours. But my husband and I, we just kind of, it was almost like a date night because we don’t do a lot of that these days,” Lanier said.

The big question this election year is how to keep voters safe during the pandemic.

[Metro voters wait in long lines for hours on final day of early voting]

Dr. Maybeth Sexton with Emory University says social distancing is key.

Lanier said she saw that practiced at her voting place. She said voters will also want to pay attention when they go to the polls Tuesday.

“You do want to try to pick a time where it is going to be a little less crowded, so it is possible to keep that distance both in the line outside and certainly once you are inside the building,” Sexton said.