Georgia Secretary of State says voters should feel confident in delayed primary

ATLANTA — Georgia's secretary of state says moving the presidential primary from next week to May will protect the health of voters and poll workers.

Many of those poll workers are senior citizens and most vulnerable to coronavirus.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray talked to Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday about how this move is going to work.

“Those who have already voted should be confident their votes will be secured and counted in May,” Raffensperger said.

The Secretary of State says Georgia's new voting machines allow the state to easily count the presidential primary picks of those Georgia voters who voted early and generate a different ballot on Election Day for those who have not.

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Raffensperger told Gray they pushed the date for the presidential primary from March 24 to May 19 because of safety concerns but also practical logistics.

The director of Cobb County elections said she was running out of poll workers.

“This was getting to the point, it sounds like, where you were not going to have the poll workers to be able to go thruogh with an election?” Gray asked Cobb County Elections Director Janine Eveler.

“It was getting to that point and we still had a week to go and we had used every one of our office staff to fill in and we were still getting vacancies we couldn’t fill,” Eveler said.

Raffensperger said the safest way to vote for May is by absentee ballot -- particularly for seniors.

With no fault absentee voting, there is now plenty of time for any Georgia voter to vote from home by mail.

“There will be a big, strong, robust push to encourage everyone to vote absentee,” Raffensperger said.

This switch actually gives voters who missed the registration deadline for the presidential primary more time to register.

Citizens have until April 20 now to register for the May 19 primary election.

Gray also contacted state Democratic party officials who said they support this move, too.

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