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Georgia the Latest State to Postpone Primary Due to Coronavirus

Georgia the Latest State to Postpone Primary Due to Coronavirus

“Events are moving rapidly and my highest priority is protecting the health of our poll workers, their families, and the community at large.”

On Friday, Louisiana postponed its primary to June 20 due to the coronavirus.

Georgia joined Louisiana on Saturday. State officials pushed its March 24 primary to May 19 while pausing in-person early voting.

From AJC:

The state rescheduled the presidential vote previously scheduled for March 24 until May 19, the same date as the regular primary for a U.S. Senate seat and many other offices, elections officials told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday.

“Events are moving rapidly and my highest priority is protecting the health of our poll workers, their families, and the community at large,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Early voting in the presidential primary ended a week early on Saturday and will resume April 27. Louisiana on Friday pushed back its April 4 primary to June 20. All votes already cast will be counted in May.

More than 279,000 Georgians cast ballots during two weeks of early voting in the contest, which features a matchup between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic ballot and President Donald Trump as the lone contender on the GOP ticket.

AJC reported that coronavirus has hit 66 people in Georgia and one died from the virus.

On Saturday, Gov. Brian Kemp declared a public health emergency.

Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams said the party wants to help “protect the health and safety of all Georgians” while giving them “the opportunity to vote.” But the party recognized that “in-person voting could compromise both goals.”

On Tuesday, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio will vote. None of those states have plans to postpone voting. However, those states will extend “absentee voting deadlines” and offer “cotton swabs to use on touchscreen machines.”


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The Friendly Grizzly | March 15, 2020 at 5:40 pm

So. More time for Joe Biden’s mind to go bang before voting.

THIS is how they will drag SlowJoe over the finish line.

Katy L. Stamper | March 15, 2020 at 6:07 pm

And this from the Georgia Supreme Court Amended yesterday:

WHEREAS, the Governor has determined that a Public Health State of Emergency exists in the State of Georgia due to the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19, and whereas that state of emergency constitutes a “judicial emergency” pursuant to OCGA § 38-3-60 et seq., see OCGA § 38-3-60 (2).
Now therefore, pursuant to OCGA § 38-3-61, the Honorable Harold D. Melton, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, DOES HEREBY ORDER AND DECLARE a Statewide Judicial Emergency in the State of Georgia. The nature of this emergency is the continued transmission of Coronavirus/COVID-19 throughout the State and the potential infection of those who work in or are required to appear in our
Thus, in order to protect the health, safety, and liberty of all citizens in this State, the undersigned hereby declares a Statewide Judicial Emergency affecting all courts and clerk’s offices in the State as it relates to all judicial proceedings.
To the extent feasible, courts should remain open to address essential functions, and in particular courts should give priority to matters necessary to protect health, safety, and liberty of individuals. Essential functions are subject to interpretation; however, some matters that fall into the essential function category are: (1) where an immediate liberty or safety concern is present requiring the attention of the court as soon as the court is available; (2) criminal court search warrants, arrest warrants, initial appearances, and bond reviews; (3) domestic abuse temporary protective orders and restraining orders; (4) juvenile court delinquency detention hearings and emergency removal matters; and (5) mental health commitment hearings.
In addition, trials in any criminal case for which a jury has been empaneled and the trial has commenced as of the date of this order shall continue to conclusion, unless good cause exists to suspend the trial or declare a mistrial. The decision whether to suspend a criminal trial or declare a mistrial rests with the judge presiding over the case.
To the extent court proceedings are held, they should be done in a manner to limit the risk of exposure, such as by videoconferencing, where possible.
Pursuant to OCGA § 38-3-62, during the period of this Order, the undersigned hereby suspends, tolls, extends, and otherwise grants relief from any deadlines or other time schedules or filing requirements imposed by otherwise applicable statutes, rules, regulations, or court orders, whether in civil or criminal cases or administrative matters, including, but not limited to any: (1) statute of limitation; (2) time within which to issue a warrant; (3) time within which to try a case for which a demand for speedy trial has been filed; (4) time within which to hold a commitment hearing; (5) deadline or other schedule regarding the detention of a juvenile; (6) time within which to return a bill of indictment or an accusation or to bring a matter before a grand jury; (7) time within which to file a writ of habeas corpus; (8) time within which discovery or any aspect thereof is to be completed; (9) time within which to serve a party; (10) time within which to appeal or to seek the right to appeal any order, ruling, or other determination; and (11) such other legal proceedings as determined to be necessary by the authorized judicial
This Statewide Judicial Emergency shall terminate on April 13, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., unless otherwise extended.
Should the state of emergency extend beyond the period indicated above or should the nature of the emergency otherwise require modification, a determination of available alternative remedies for the conduct of court business will be made as necessary, and a corresponding order will be entered and distributed in accordance with Georgia law.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to OCGA § 38-3-63, that notice and service of a copy of this Order shall immediately be sent to the judges and clerks of all courts in this State and to the clerk of the Georgia Court of Appeals, such service to be accomplished through means to assure expeditious receipt, which include electronic means; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice shall also be sent to the media, the State Bar of Georgia, and the officials and entities listed below
and shall constitute sufficient notice of the issuance of this Order to the affected parties, counsel for the affected parties, and the public.
IT IS SO ORDERED this day of 14th of March, 2020
Justice Melton Supreme Court of Georgia

Democrats want public political meetings ended because they have to hide slow Joe for several months.

We’re postponing our lives for the next two years.

IMHO it’s a really really really bad idea to set a precedent of cancelling or postponing an election. That’s something third world countries do just before the next coup.

    Milhouse in reply to gospace. | March 15, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    It’s a primary, not an election.

    And on 11-Sep-2001 the NYC primary was cancelled after voting had already begun — I heard about the first plane crash on my way home from voting (for Herman Padillo and against Michael Bloomberg).

    To delay the Nov-3-2020 federal election would take an act of congress, passed by both houses and signed by the president, and even then it couldn’t be delayed beyond the end of December because this congress’s term ends on Jan-3-2021 whether an election has been held or not. If a new congress has not been elected, there will simply not be a congress. And if a new president and vice president have not been elected by Jan-20 those offices will become vacant. I assume the secretary of state would take over as acting president, since he doesn’t have a fixed term of office.

      McGehee in reply to Milhouse. | March 15, 2020 at 8:45 pm

      I believe it would be the new (or, God forbid, re-elected) Speaker of the House, rather, since there would undoubtedly be a Speaker by January 20.

        Milhouse in reply to McGehee. | March 16, 2020 at 12:29 am

        Under what circumstances can you imagine the presidential election being postponed but not the congressional election? Any emergency that led to the first would also lead to the second.

      McGehee in reply to Milhouse. | March 15, 2020 at 8:47 pm

      Oops, I overlooked this part:

      If a new congress has not been elected, there will simply not be a congress.

      Yes, in that instance it would be SecState who took office — though perhaps as Acting President under the circumstances.

The fix is in. And I think after Biden is chosen, they will do a Toricelli and select a candidate that is totally untested to confront Trump.

    Milhouse in reply to puhiawa. | March 16, 2020 at 12:31 am

    Yes. The only question is whether they do it before or after the election. Before, if Biden is losing. After, if he’s winning.

This seems really more about protecting the vote than protecting the voters. Any danger—real or imaginary—will tend to keep the less daredevilish voters home. And that is basically the definition of voter suppression.