Is in-person voting safe from Covid-19? It can be if you follow these guidelines

At least 10 states are allowing voters to cast early in-person ballots during September, with another 35 soon to follow in October.

More than 2.2 million ballots have been cast in Georgia through either in-person early voting or mail-in/absentee ballots as of Friday.

According to the U.S. Elections Project, a total of 2,258,750 ballots have been cast by early voters or mailed back and accepted by counties/state. That puts the turnout rate before Election Day at 32.3 percent of registered voters in Georgia.

Overall, more than 1.7 million mail-in ballots have been requested by voters in the state. Based on the numbers requested, approximately 24.7 percent of eligible voters in Georgia plan to vote absentee/mail-in and the returned/accepted rate of ballots stands at 49 percent.

The U.S. Elections Project added in-person early voting totals which showed a total of 1,410,130 in-person early votes have been cast with just more than a week left to early vote. Voters over the age of 45 make up 67.8 percent of the in-person early votes.

In the metro Atlanta area, the breakdown of absentee/mail-in ballots looks like this:

  • Cobb County - 179,826 ballots requested; 95,764 ballots returned and accepted
  • DeKalb County - 170,856 ballots requested; 82,053 ballots returned and accepted
  • Fulton County - 208,406 ballots requested; 91,416 ballots returned and accepted
  • Gwinnett County - 163,785 ballots requested; 62,261 ballots returned and accepted

Breaking the absentee/mail-in vote down by race/ethnicity, Non-Hispanic White voters have returned 465,841 ballots compared to Non-Hispanic Black voters who have returned 263,897 ballots. According to the Elections Project, 629,797 of the ballots returned came from people who voted in the 2016 General Election while 218,823 or 25.8 percent, came from people who didn't vote in the 2016 General Election.

Voters over the age of 55 made up the largest group of voters who have returned absentee/mail-in ballots, with 557,365 of the more than 848,620 mail-in/absentee ballots coming from that age group. Finally, female voters have returned more ballots than males by a 56.5 percent to 42.8 percent margin. Females also outnumber males in ballots requested by more than 256,000.

Nationwide, more than 49 million ballots have been cast, according to the U.S. Elections Project. Note, not all states are reporting their early voting numbers yet.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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