Georgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary

Georgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Raffensperger (R) announced Tuesday that the state will mail absentee ballot request forms to all of Georgia’s nearly 7 million voters in an effort to encourage people to cast their ballots remotely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, Georgia postponed its primary from March 24 to May 19 over fears coronavirus would spread among voters gathering in long lines outside of polling places. 

Georgia voters have been able to cast ballots through the mail in the past, but the secretary of state said that 95 percent of people voted in-person for the 2016 and 2018 elections.

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By mailing absentee ballot request forms, the secretary of state hopes to cut down on the number of people who show up to vote in person in the 2020 primary.

“Times of turbulence and upheaval like the one we Georgians face require decisive action if the liberties we hold so dear are to be preserved,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “I am acting today because the people of Georgia, from the earliest settlers to heroes like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Congressman John LewisJohn LewisCongresswoman accidentally tweets of death of Rep. John Lewis, who's still alive IRS, taxpayers face obstacles ahead of July 15 filing deadline We must move beyond 'the rank of a mere citizen' MORE, have fought too long and too hard for their right to vote to have it curtailed. Georgia has faced challenges before and overcome them, and we can do so again through the grit and ingenuity that has made America a shining example for democracies around the world.”

Voters who return the absentee ballot request form will receive a ballot in the mail that must be returned by May 19 for it to be counted.

Georgia is one of several states to postpone their primaries due to the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic has sparked new demands that voters have greater access to mail-in ballots.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDonald Trump Jr. to self-publish book 'Liberal Privilege' before GOP convention Tom Price: Here's how we can obtain more affordable care The Memo: Democrats feel rising tide in Florida MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden wins Louisiana primary Oh, Canada: Should the US emulate Canada's National Health Service? Trump glosses over virus surge during Florida trip MORE (I-Vt.) will be on the Democratic primary ballot in Georgia. Polls show Biden with a massive lead, and a victory there would push him closer to the 1,991 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

On the Republican side, Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Is Georgia reaching a tipping point? Democrats hope for tidal moment in Georgia with two Senate seats in play GOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle MORE will face off against Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsThe Hill's Campaign Report: Is Georgia reaching a tipping point? Democrats hope for tidal moment in Georgia with two Senate seats in play Loeffler doubles down against BLM, calls movement 'anti-Semitic' amid continued WNBA blowback MORE (R) in the state’s jungle primary for the Senate seat. If no candidate reaches 50 percent support in the primary, it will trigger a runoff election for sometime in January.