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April 2020
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Pandemic shakes up election year

All voters will get an absentee ballot application this year



Shelter-in-place orders and the threat of COVID-19 have caused unprecedented changes in our country, including huge changes to this year’s election cycle. As a result, all 6.9 million Georgia voters will receive an absentee ballot application so they can request to vote in the May 19 primary from the safety of their home. 

“Times of turbulence and upheaval like the one we Georgians face require decisive action if the liberties we hold so dear are to be preserved,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “The people of Georgia, from the earliest settlers to heroes like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Congressman John Lewis, have fought too long and too hard for their right to vote to have it curtailed.

Read more: Pandemic shakes up election year

Governor sends National Guard to elderly care homes

By Beau Evans
Staff Writer
Capitol Beat News Service

    Gov. Brian Kemp is sending more than 100 Georgia National Guard members to oversee operations at assisted-living facilities and nursing homes in the state where elderly residents have been infected with coronavirus.
     Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable populations at risk for harmful health effects from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel strain of coronavirus that has sparked a global pandemic. The virus had infected at least 3,817 people and killed 108 in Georgia as of noon Tuesday.

Read more: Governor sends National Guard to elderly care homes

Outdoor trail parks close over crowd concerns

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Two of the prime outdoor parks in Pickens County have closed after seeing large crowds there following the shelter-in-place order for this county.

Talking Rock Nature Preserve, across from Biguns BBQ on Highway 515, announced they were closing for the extent of the county’s shelter-in-place ordinance.

Bill Jones, of the park’s owner Southeast Trust for Parks and Land, said in an e-mail to board members  that reports of large crowds gathering in parking areas were not in line with the social distancing requirements.

Read more: Outdoor trail parks close over crowd concerns

Ga. speaker wants May primary pushed back; Move would have big impact for local candidates


By Dave Williams
Bureau Chief
Capitol Beat News Service
ATLANTA - Georgia House Speaker David Ralston is asking Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to delay the May 19 primaries because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter dated Thursday, Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, suggested holding the primaries no earlier than June 23.
“You and I both agree that the right to vote is one of our most cherished freedoms,” the speaker wrote. “It is a right which, to the extent possible, should be free of impact from circumstances which create obstacles to its exercise. 
“However, the inescapable truth is that we do not know the duration of the immediate health peril. Reputable scientists and physicians cannot agree on its duration.”

Read more: Ga. speaker wants May primary pushed back; Move would have big impact for local candidates