Dear Editor:

Every minute of our new daily lives, we weigh risk vs reward. We question every action and work to mitigate the risks with alternative solutions. Work, school, shopping for necessities - it's all been upended during this horrific pandemic. We've all developed safer work arounds to our daily life, and our duty to vote should be no different.

We have had an avenue in place for many years to help facilitate voting for those who cannot do so in person. Our military service members, citizens abroad, elderly or disabled and even our President use this voting option. We need to utilize this channel to not only keep poll workers and voters safe, but to minimize the repercussions to our already overburdened EMS and healthcare system.

As our dedicated Jackson county Elections Director summarized all the additional plans being put into place, which fall outside of the normal operations needed to conduct fair and impartial elections, it became painfully obvious we are asking them to do something completely unnecessary and very risky.

We already know that scores of the most experienced and dedicated poll workers will not be available for this election, rightly so as many are in the highest risk categories. We also know that even those that are not in the highest risk categories are not immune to some of the harshest outcomes from this virus. When we have alternatives, which don’t require taking gloves, face masks and other equipment that is in short supply away from front line emergency personnel, we should use it.

As the multiple infections from a single day of the legislature made perfectly clear, this virus spreads easily. We have a tested and secure method of voting already in place in Georgia that would work well for this circumstance. It is, frankly, one of the few solutions in place prior to the pandemic. Lawmakers need to enact this singular mechanism for the upcoming primary, and do it quickly to allow time to educate voters on the process and protections built into this channel.. This is a matter of public health, life or death, it is not political. Walk the walk Georgia lawmakers, and protect those nurses and doctors we so revere in this time of crisis


Erma Denney


Jackson County Board of Elections

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