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Georgia Companies Adapt To Provide Protective Supplies For Polling Places

The Marena Group, a Lawrenceville company, has changed its focus to making masks since the pandemic began.
The Marena Group, a Lawrenceville company, has changed its focus to making masks since the pandemic began.
Credit Courtesy of The Marena Group

In an effort to keep voters and poll workers safe, the state has tapped two Georgia companies to help provide supplies.

In-person voting for Georgia’s June 9 primaries continues this week. Although more than 1.5 million voters have requested an absentee ballot, some are choosing to go to the polls.

Many voters have a choice – vote by mail or vote in person. But polling sites can’t open without poll workers. Complicating things is the number of those folks who are older – and at higher risk of serious complications from COVID 19.

While Georgia officials are encouraging as many people to vote absentee as possible, they’re also providing poll workers with masks.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office didn’t have to look far to find a company that could produce masks in large quantities – 35,000 to be exact – for Georgia poll workers.

Linda Burhance is vice president of product development with The Marena Group, a Lawrenceville company specializing in compression clothing for people who are recovering from surgery. Since the pandemic began, Marena has focused on making masks.

“When the world changed, we changed,” Burhance said. “We realized that we could provide a benefit based on our medical device experience.”

The masks they produce are not only FDA approved they’re also reusable and can be washed up to 50 times without losing effectiveness.

“I’m proud to get these critical masks out to poll workers and to anyone who needs them,” Burhance said.

The masks aren’t the only Georgia-made product that voters will see. Polling places will also be stocked with bottles of hand sanitizer from Pretoria Fields Collective, an Albany brewery that’s switched from making craft beer to making hand sanitizer.