Georgia’s Fulton County elections have made headlines for long lines. But now covid-19 is plaguing the election effort in the county that encompasses most of metro Atlanta.
Thirteen of 60 employees in the Fulton County Election Preparation Center have tested positive for the virus, according to the Department of Registration and Elections. Those infected did not have contact with voters, and no workers at early voting sites have reported positive tests.
The entire warehouse staff was screened, and 11 cases were identified after two employees initially tested positive earlier this week, election officials wrote in a news release.
In the wake of the outbreak, the agency announced it would strengthen mitigation efforts and monitoring, including implementing daily rapid testing for all employees and cleaning and reorganizing the workspace to allow for greater social distancing.
“Fulton County is continuing to explore and prepare for every possible contingency to ensure successful elections operations through the Early Voting period and on Election Day,” officials wrote.
The county, where lengthy queues have formed at polling locations in past elections, saw lines as long as 10 hours Monday on the first day of early voting. June’s primary was no less troubled, marked by missing absentee ballots, inadequately trained poll workers and malfunctioning touch-screen machines.
How Fulton County election officials handle the coronavirus pandemic continues to be of national concern after previous elections have brought up charges that voter suppression disproportionately disenfranchised Black voters.