DENISE MADDOX, Grady County’s election superintendent, is preparing for a busy 2020 election cycle.
Grady County voters who did not have an opportunity to vote in the presidential preference primary before it was postponed Saturday, will still have that opportunity, local election officials say.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Saturday that the March 24 presidential preference primary (PPP) would be postponed to May 19 due to the declared public health emergency caused by outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
Voters were deciding in the March 24 election which presidential candidate they preferred. Their votes, in turn, allocates committed delegates to the Democratic and Republican national nominating conventions. The May 19 general primary is to determine which candidates, many of them local, will ultimately be on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.
All 13 of Grady County’s polling locations will be closed on March 24 and in-person advanced voting for the PPP ceased Saturday, according to Grady County Probate Judge and Election Superintendent Denise Maddox.
Saturday was the one day of weekend voting scheduled for the now postponed primary. According to Maddox, 39 voters, 28 democrats and 11 republican ballots were cast. Up until the election was postponed, a grand total of 460 ballots had been cast in Grady County with 221 democratic ballots cast and 239 republican.
Voters, particularly those who are vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus, are strongly urged to request an application for an absentee ballot in order to avoid any lines that may be at polling locations during the May 19 General Primary.
Voters who are at least 65 years old or disabled, should check the exemption section of the application to receive a ballot for the remaining elections in the 2020 election cycle.
All advance voting ballots and mail-in ballots already cast for the PPP will be counted, but they will be tabulated on the evening of May 19 when the results for the General Primary will be tabulated.
Following Secretary Raffensperger’s announcement on Saturday, the State Elections Division has devised plans to accommodate voters who voted in the PPP and those who haven’t. Going forward, voters will have these options:
• Request an absentee mail-in ballot for the PPP by 4 p.m. this Friday, March 20. A ballot with the presidential preference primary candidates will be the only race on that ballot. Those ballots must be returned by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24.
• If requesting an absentee mail-in ballot beginning on Monday, March 23, voters who have NOT voted in the PPP will receive a ballot with both the PPP race on it as well as races for the May 19 general primary.
• Beginning Monday, March 23, voters who are requesting a mail-in ballot who have voted in the PPP will receive a ballot with just the races for the general primary.
• During advance voting and on the May 19 election day, voters who voted in the PPP will only see contests for the general primary. Voters who did not vote in the PPP will see what is considered a “combined” ballot — a ballot with both the PPP race and all the General Election races. The biggest difference is that voters must decide which party ballot they want for the combined contests.
For more information, contact Judge Maddox’s office by calling 229-377-4621.