Fulton County residents will have fewer polling places to choose from when early voting begins for the upcoming primaries.
In normal times, Fulton opens more than 20 early voting locations. This time around, it will only be four.
Elections director Rick Barron says the decision comes after two members of his staff contracted COVID-19 one survived, one did not.
Beverly Walker, 62, died last week as the result of the disease. She had been a longtime employee of the Fulton County elections department. She had retired several years ago but had been working part-time up until late March.
Barron also cited reports that several poll workers and voters in Wisconsin were recently diagnosed with the coronavirus following elections there.
“It just makes me personally aware of my responsibility for the health and safety of the staff and the poll workers,” said Barron, who also noted that confirmed coronavirus cases in the county now total more than 2,000.
South Annex, CT Martin, Alpharetta Library and Sandy Springs Library will be the four early voting locations that will be open during the early voting period, May 18-June 5. The reduction was unanimously approved by the Fulton County Board of Elections during a video conference meeting on Thursday.
The full complement of polling locations will be open on Election Day, June 9. Fulton County will provide protective equipment for poll workers and issue a stylus to voters using the touchscreens.
Meanwhile, the county is processing tens of thousands of absentee ballot applications that continue to arrive daily and is looking to purchase at least a dozen secure drop boxes so voters can return those ballots without having to go to the post office.