Voting During COVID-19

Voting During COVID-19

As 2020 continues to reshape our lives, it is important to remember that this November we have the chance to get America back on the right path. This election could be the most consequential one of our lives. Let’s hope it is. 

Recently, Aaron Johnson of the Fulton County Board of Elections was interviewed about the upcoming primary election. His comments are condensed here and worth the read. Being informed is the first step in the election process.

As you know, the presidential primary in March got pushed to May and now forward again to June 9. And since some people had voted early during the presidential primary in March, but not the state primary originally scheduled for May 19, there are several scenarios to consider as we approach the June date. Hopefully, this will be the last extension of the primary but there are no guarantees. 

For those of you who have requested an absentee ballot, they should be arriving soon. For some reason, several applications were sent to the wrong address; if you are wondering why yours never arrived, contact the Fulton County Board of Elections (www.fultonelections.com) this week. For your vote to count, you will need time to receive the application (or you can download one here), send that in, wait on the official ballot and mail that one in. Or, write or call the Fulton Board of Elections office to request an application; it can be mailed back in or you can scan and email it (elections.absentee@fultoncountyga.gov) or use an app that takes and sends phone-generated photos. Use a high-res phone and take a good picture of the completely filled out and SIGNED form. Send it to the Fulton County Registration and Elections Department at 130 Peachtree Street SW, Suite 2186, Atlanta, GA 30303-3460. To check your application’s status, go to your My Voter Page

On the application request form, you have the option to request a Republican or Democrat or Non-partisan ballot. Once your official ballot shows up, it will only list your party’s candidates running for office. The Democratic ballot will include races like the US Senate race, state representatives, and non-partisan judges. The Democratic candidates who win these primaries will then run in November against the opposing party’s candidate. 

Now, since the presidential primary was to be held back in March, some people early voted in that race before COVID-19 reared up and postponed the election. If you did vote early, your ballot will not show presidential candidates. For the majority of us who did not vote early, all candidates within our party will be listed on our ballot. 

To be sure, the standard “vote-in-person” on June 9 is always an option. Your precinct will be up and running with poll workers’ smiling faces. Some polling places have changed due to COVID-19 concerns, so check your Election Day polling place here. But, if you have any concerns with COVID, then it would be best for you to vote by mail. Voting locations and poll workers will offer the safest environment they can, but other voters may have a different version of “safe” than yours. 

As of now, early voting will be reduced due to staff and locations considerations. There will only be 5 in Fulton County (see the full list here). Therefore, mail-in ballots are the safer way to go.

When you return your absentee ballot, don’t forget to use two stamps!! (And sign your ballot!) And, if you want to save on postage, you can drop your ballot in one of 20 absentee drop boxes throughout Fulton County

Election day is the last day to vote in any form, so don’t wait till the last minute. As you can see, there is a big push for mail-in ballots. It’s easy and you can do it from home. Just like ordering pizza! Remember, the risks of not voting are too high so make sure you are an active, informed voter. We look forward to seeing you at the election night party in November!

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