Georgia Election Officials Postpone Presidential Primary In-Person Election Day from March 24, 2020 to May 19, 2020, and Extend Absentee Voting by Mail

Georgia elections officials postponed the presidential primary scheduled for next week because of the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the second state forced to push back a vote in the race for the White House due to the outbreak. Louisiana was first on postponement and safety, when official announced Friday, March 13, 2020 that the April 4, 2020 primary was postponed to June 20, 2020.

Georgia has rescheduled the presidential primary vote scheduled for March 24, 2020 until May 19, 2020 — the same date as the regular primary for a U.S. Senate seat and many other offices. Kentucky and Oregon were already scheduled for May 19, 2020. A total of seven states (excluding Georgia) and Guam and the Virgin Islands have regularly scheduled primary elections in May 2020.

In the interest of safety, early voting in the presidential primary ended a week early on Saturday, and will resume April 27, 2020. Over one-quarter million voters already cast early voting ballots

“Events are moving rapidly and my highest priority is protecting the health of our poll workers, their families, and the community at large.”

— Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

“Our priority is to protect the health and safety of all Georgians and to ensure that as many Georgians as possible have an opportunity to vote. Continued in-person voting could compromise both goals.”

— Nikema Williams, Chairs Democratic Party of Georgia

Election officials understood that in-person voting put voters at an unacceptable risk, and also opened the potential for depressed turnout. The delayed voting also give voters more time to vote by absentee by mail.

Faced with public health dangers and the potential for depressed turnout, the secretary of state’s office decided to wait out the infection and give voters more time to vote by absentee by mail if they choose to do so. Official were also concerned that exposure to in-person voters at poll sites would pose a risk to Georgia poll volunteers, who average 70 years old.

If the outbreak and public safety risk worsens in May 2020, officials plan to administer the rest of the election by mail.

The Democratic Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is scheduled for July 13-16, 2020.

The Republican Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina is scheduled for August 24-27, 2020.

The first Presidential Debate in South Bend, Indiana is scheduled for September 29, 2020.

The Vice Presidential Debate in Salt Lake City, Utah is scheduled for October 7, 2020.

The second Presidential Debate in Ann Arbor, Michigan is scheduled for October 15, 2020.

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