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Georgia to reopen early voting at polling places impacted by COVID-19

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State election leaders say early voting will be back up and running in two Georgia counties where COVID-19 exposure at the polling place forced them to shut down early voting.

Even with the extra precautions including face masks and social distancing, voting had to be paused to clean and decontaminate polling places after a voter and election workers came down with the virus.

In Appling County, a voter tested positive for coronavirus and in McDuffie County, two election workers tested positive for the virus.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray it could have just as easily happen in metro Atlanta.

“Those two counties have less than 5,000 people, but if you have a county that has 500,000 or even 50,000 people you are going to have an awful lot of people say how come I can’t vote,” Raffensperger said.

While Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State continues to push Georgians to vote by mail from home, President Donald Trump took to Twitter over the weekend to blast mail in voting as a Democratic attempt to rig the election.

“The president said people grab them from mailboxes print thousands of forgeries and force people to sign. Any evidence of that in Georgia?” Gray asked.

“It won’t happen in Georgia but it does happen. Anything we hear about we will be investigating,” said Raffensperger. “We’re trying to make sure there are guardrails that it’s easy to vote but also hard to cheat.”

The secretary of state says about 1.6 million people requested an absentee ballot, but about 1 million of those still haven’t been returned.

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