ATLANTA — Early voting is expected to surge with statewide Saturday voting four days from now. And state officials say the advance of the coronavirus doesn’t appear to be affecting turnout.
Voters appeared at a brisk-enough pace during 11Alive's midday visit Tuesday, at an early voting precinct in southeast Atlanta. They were here for the presidential primary.
They aimed to participate, while steering clear of the coronavirus, described in leaflets and signage at an informational table just outside the doorway.
"I figured it’s a safe time (to vote) right now," said voter Marnie McMurry, who said she chose this library precinct because she hoped to see fewer people.
"My husband’s got health issues, and I don’t want to be responsible for bringing anything home," McMurry said.
Voters planted themselves in front of touch screens touched by dozens or hundreds of other voters. But this precinct was also stocked with two bottles of hand sanitizer, which officials hope will get plenty of use.
"The best thing is probably use hand sanitizers before, when you show up," said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. "Make your (ballot) selections. After you’re done, use sanitizers again on the way out."
Voter Dwight McDowell didn't need to hear the advice. He said he habitually cleans and sanitizes his hands.
"There’s hand sanitizer at the stations. Also have one in my car. I still used the one that they have, just to take extra precautions," McDowell said. "And then when I go home I will wash my hands, and my face."
Voters also have another option to showing up at a precinct. They can vote absentee – by sending in or emailing an online application.
"We have 'no excuse' absentee voting," Raffensperger said. "You don’t need a doctor slip. If you want to vote absentee... vote absentee."