Georgia County's Only Early Voting Site Closed After Voter Tests Positive For Coronavirus

May 21, 2020

The Appling County Board of Elections office, which serves as the county's sole early voting location, will be closed Friday for cleaning after a voter tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the secretary of state's office, the southeast Georgia elections board office will reopen on Tuesday. 

GPB News reached out to the elections office in Baxley Thursday afternoon with a request for comment and has not heard back at this time.

“The continued risk from the COVID-19 virus is exactly why Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sent every active voter an absentee ballot request form," Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said in a statement. "We are getting reports from counties that many voters who have requested and received an absentee ballot are instead choosing to vote in person. That decision increases your risk. We call on all voters who can to vote by absentee ballot for this primary election."

RELATED: 2 McDuffie County Election Workers Test Positive For COVID-19

According to absentee voting records, 28 people voted in person on Wednesday.

So far, nearly 2,900 Appling County voters have returned an absentee ballot and around 100 cast their ballot this week during early voting.

Appling is the second county to have its election office closed this week because of the virus.

Most of the staff in McDuffie County were sent home Tuesday after the absentee ballot clerk and front desk receptionist tested positive for the virus.

The pair of pandemic-stricken election offices are the latest examples of the challenges voting officials face with holding an election while coronavirus still threatens the state.

Elsewhere in the state, county supervisors have been overwhelmed with absentee ballots and applications, have been forced to cut back on voting locations and encountered longer lines with fewer people because of social distancing.

Early voting ends June 5 for the June 9 primary election.