In response to the voting uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Raffensperger announced that the state will mail absentee ballot request forms to all active Georgia voters. In February, the pandemic caused Georgia to postpone its presidential primary from March 24 to May 19.
According to Raffensperger, Georgia 95 percent of people voted in-person for the 2016 and 2018 elections. By mailing absentee ballot request forms, Raffensperger hopes to cut down on the number of people who show up to vote in person on May 19.
“Times of turbulence and upheaval like the one we Georgians face require decisive action if the liberties we hold so dear are to be preserved,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “I am acting today because the people of Georgia, from the earliest settlers to heroes like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Congressman John Lewis, have fought too long and too hard for their right to vote to have it curtailed. Georgia has faced challenges before and overcome them, and we can do so again through the grit and ingenuity that has made America a shining example for democracies around the world.”
Voters who receive an absentee ballot must return it by May 19 for it to be counted.