Counties encourage social distancing for in-person Early Voting

Election officials in our area are urging people to vote by mail. However, if you decide to vote in-person, some officials say be prepared for delays and longer than normal lines.

Because of social distancing, polling workers across metro Atlanta are limiting the number of voters inside polling locations at one time.

In Fulton County, they're requiring poll workers to wear face coverings and gloves.

Voters are also encouraged to wear a mask.

"They will have hand sanitizer there for the voters as well as for the poll workers," Fulton County Director of Registration and Elections Richard Barron explained. "We will also have them use styluses, with the ballot marking devices and we will sanitize those in between each voter."

Because of efforts to constantly sanitize, Cobb County officials say wait times will likely increase.

If voting in-person, give yourself extra time and be patient.

"We have fewer polling places than normal," Barron told FOX 5.

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Election officials across the region tell us voters are taking advantage of the absentee ballot, a good indication that people are following social distancing guidelines.

"The amount of mail and ballot by mail applications that we've received and the number by email has been overwhelming," Barron detailed.

If you’re already registered to vote, you can apply for an absentee or advance by mail ballots for the June 9th election until June 5th.

Cobb, Gwinnett and Fulton counties have also installed secure drop box locations to give eligible voters another contact-less way to return their ballot.

Barron said COVID-19 has also forced them to change 40 polling locations for the June 9th election.

"We have significantly fewer polling places that will be available on election day. We have lost quite a number of poll workers," he detailed.

Many of the changes came after some locations, mainly senior centers, expressed concerns about being open to the public.

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