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CDC says Georgia Gov. Kemp and others can go vote while in quarantine

By Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News Talk #atlanta-ga

Sick voters or those exposed to COVID-19 can vote on Election Day

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and other voters who are quarantining themselves because of COVID-19 can still vote in person, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday.

The CDC said voters who are sick or in quarantine can vote if they take steps to protect poll workers and other voters, including wearing a mask and maintaining social distance.

Kemp ability to vote in this year’s election came into question Friday when he self-quarantined after close contact with U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Kemp tested negative, but the Atlanta-based CDC recommendsthat people who might have been exposed to COVID-19 stay home for 14 days and avoid others.

The CDC clarified on Sunday that the coronavirus doesn’t preclude people from exercising their right to vote.

“Gov. Kemp would be able to vote in person while wearing a mask, and maintaining at least 6 feet between election workers and other voters, and washing or sanitizing his hands before and after voting,” said CDC spokesman Jason McDonald. “We also recommend that Gov. Kemp let poll workers know that he is in quarantine when he arrives at the polling location.”

Kemp requested an absentee ballot Friday, but it’s unlikely to arrive in the mail before polls close Tuesday. Georgia law and a court ruling require all absentee ballots to be received by county election officials before 7 p.m. on Election Day.

If Kemp doesn’t receive his absentee ballot in time, the only way he could vote would be at his local polling place near his Athens residence on Election Day. In-person early voting ended Friday.

A spokesman for Kemp, a Republican, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday. Kemp previously served as secretary of state, Georgia’s top election official.