- Special Election for Mayor of Donalsonville moves with Georgia’s General Primary from May 19 to June 9
Thursday, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that he is postponing the Georgia’s general primary and presidential preference primary election until June 9, 2020.
The Special Election to elect the new Mayor of Donalsonville will move to June 9 as well.
Wednesday, Governor Brian Kemp extended the current public health state of emergency until May 13.
“Due to the Governor’s extension of the state of emergency through a time period that includes almost every day of in-person voting for an election on May 19, and after careful consideration, I am now comfortable exercising the authority vested in me by Georgia law to postpone the primary election until June 9,” said Secretary Raffensperger.
He says the decision allows our office and county election officials to continue to put in place contingency plans to ensure that voting can be safe and secure when in-person voting begins and prioritizes the health and safety of voters, county election officials, and poll workers.
Over the past week, the reports of difficulties from county election officials, particularly in Southwest Georgia, grew to a point where county election officials could not overcome the challenges brought on by COVID-19 in time for in-person voting to begin on April 27.
According to state officials, current modeling by the CDC and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects the COVID-19 pandemic in Georgia will peak around April 24, just days before in-person voting was scheduled to begin.
The thought is that the additional three weeks will give the Secretary of State’s office and counties time to shore up contingency plans, find and train additional poll workers, and procure supplies and equipment necessary to clean equipment and protect poll workers.
“I certainly realize that every difficulty will not be completely solved by the time in-person voting begins for the June 9 election, but elections must happen even in less than ideal circumstances,” said Raffensperger.
The voter registration deadline for the June 9 election will be May 11, 2020. Early voting will begin on May 18, 2020. The primary runoff will be pushed to August 11.
While pushing back the primary to June 9 gives Georgia election officials additional time to put plans in place to allow for safe and secure voting, but they say pushing back the primary election any further could potentially have negative consequences on preparation for the November 3 General Election.
Absentee ballot applications for the upcoming primary election will continue to be accepted and processed by counties even if the application said May 19.
Once county election officials properly verify the signature on the application, the voter will be sent an absentee ballot for the primary election now to be held on June 9.