Secretary of State sends personal protective equipment to county elections workers

Seminole County Probate Judge and Elections Superintendent Michael Jon Rogers stands behind boxes of personal protective equipment received on Tuesday from the Georgia Secretary of State, GEMA and the Homeland Security Agency

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is working with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency to keep Georgia’s poll workers and elections officials safe from COVID-19. Raffensperger coordinated with Seminole county elections officials to request masks, face shields, gloves, and disinfecting wipes to protect both elections staff and voters in November. GEMA/HS has agreed to fulfill the full request and will ship the requested personal protective equipment (PPE) directly to county elections officials.

“In-person voting remains an important way for Georgia voters to access the ballot so I am doing whatever I can to make that experience safe and easy,” said Raffensperger. “I want to thank GEMA for their past and continued support of elections in Seminole County and across Georgia with much-needed personal protective equipment. This will enable our poll workers and local officials to provide safe and secure ballot access to the millions of in-person voters expected in November.”

The Office of the Secretary of State is working with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency to provide additional PPE to local elections officials and poll workers for elections in November. The Office of the Secretary sent a message to county elections soliciting requests for PPE late last week.

A total of 153 counties are requesting more PPE through the Office of the Secretary of State and GEMA/HS. Seminole County requested 100 masks, 100 face shields, five boxes of gloves, and 10 boxes of disinfectant wipes.

Shortly after the request was made, GEMA/HS said they would be able to fulfill the requests and would ship the requested PPE directly to Seminole County elections officials for use on election day.

The PPE request comes on top of an order for 11,000 gallons of hand sanitizer that the Office of the Secretary of State placed earlier this year. The hand sanitizer will be distributed to the counties ahead of the November elections.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and record absentee ballot votes cast by mail, significant numbers of Georgia voters turned out in-person to vote. On June 9, 1,135,000 Georgia voters went to the polls to cast their ballot. Voter turnout in November is expected to be three times as high.

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