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 LewisGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary Kennedy said DSCC prevented him from helping Democrats flip GOP seats Pelosi stands firm amid calls to close Capitol 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 BidenFighting a virus with the wrong tools Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Overnight Energy: Court upholds Trump repeal of Obama fracking rule | Oil price drop threatens fracking boom | EPA eases rules on gasoline sales amid coronavirus The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders pushes on in 2020 race 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 LoefflerGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress Loeffler under fire for stock trades amid coronavirus outbreak MORE will face off against Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary Overnight Energy: House stimulus aims to stem airline pollution | Environmental measures become sticking point in Senate talks | Progressives propose T 'green stimulus' House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress 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.