Election plans change in Thomasville due to COVID-19

Updated: Mar. 25, 2020 at 7:01 PM EDT
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THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Because of the coronavirus pandemic, changes have been made for Thomas County elections.

Early voting for the presidential primary is now postponed.

The March presidential primary will now be combined with the May election. Thomas County Elections Supervisor Frank Scoggins told us what happens to those votes that have already been cast.

  • May 19 elections:

“Their vote will be counted in May. Those that haven’t will have the opportunity to vote the same ballot that they would’ve have voted in March,” said Scoggins.

In a press release, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said they’re taking steps to help voters continue exercising their rights while being cautious.

“Secretary of State is going to send out absentee by mail applications to all active voters in the state of Georgia,” explained Scoggins.

The press release said this will limit the threat of COVID-19 at polling places.

Scoggins told us he thinks around 30 percent of voters will respond to using their absentee ballot.

But people are still able to vote in person.

Linda Solana is on the board of elections.

She told us she had concerns about in-person voting.

“There’s a lot of touching that I was concerned about,” said Solana.

She said some of those working during the early election decided to cancel because of sanitation concerns.

“We had one or two that canceled even before the election got canceled. I know the people that sign people in, the voters are standing up over them, looking down on them. Kind of breathing on them and then they would touch the little election cards that you would take over to the voting machine," explained Solana.

She said she hopes more people will use absentees just to be safe.

Scoggins told us they have not counted any votes made in early voting.

“We voted probably a little over 1,200 people when they told us to stop. We do not know the results of those that have voted, or you know the cumulative results. That vote is under lock and key and sealed,” said Scoggins.

The next election will include the republican primary, local, county, state, and congressional elections.

Scoggins said they’re hoping to send out absentee ballots as soon as possible.

Advanced voting for the republican primary will start on April 27.

Election Day is May 19.

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