Coronavirus: New Procedures for Georgia Voting Machines

State and local elections officials have adopted new protocols to protect voters in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

"We still need people to come out and vote," explained Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron.  "Postponing an election isn't an option, so we need to do what we can to keep the public safe within our abilities."

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Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said his office has shared best practices from the Centers for Disease Control with elections officials in all 159 counties across the state.  

The CDC recommends elections officials have hand sanitizer available at polling places for voters, keep bathrooms stocked with soap and paper towels and frequently clean commonly-touched surfaces like voting machines, desks and tablets.  

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According to the Secretary of State's Office, poll workers must use isopropyl alcohol wipes to disinfect the state's new touchscreen voting machines.  They cannot use bleach, Lysol or any other cleaning product that could damage the screen.  

"It's best to be proactive, to be out there and give people options and make sure that we stay ahead of it," said Sec. Raffensperger.  

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The CDC reports there have been no documented cases of coronavirus from contact with contaminated surfaces, but the virus can live on surfaces for several hours.  Transmission of the virus is generally from person-to-person contact.  

Sec. Raffensperger suggested people take advantage of early voting when there are less crowds, or voters can request an absentee ballot to avoid their polling place altogether.  

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