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.

ATLANTA (CBS46) -- In-person early voting combined with mail-in/absentee ballots surpassed 1.1 million votes in Georgia as of Friday.

According to the U.S. Elections Project, as of Thursday, a total of 1,125,730 ballots have been cast by early voters or mailed back and accepted by counties/state. Overall, more than 1.6 million ballots have been requested by voters in the state. Based on the numbers requested, approximately 23.8 percent of eligible voters in Georgia plan to vote absentee/mail-in and the current return and the returned/accepted rate of ballots stands at 35.1 percent.

The U.S. Elections Project added in-person early voting totals which showed a total of 541,013 in-person early votes have been cast in the first four days. Voters over the age of 55 make up 58.6 percent of the in-person early votes through four days of in-person early voting.

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

  • Cobb County - 172,248 ballots requested; 69,395 ballots returned and accepted
  • DeKalb County - 165,499 ballots requested; 55,274 ballots returned and accepted
  • Fulton County - 201,247 ballots requested; 58,823 ballots returned and accepted
  • Gwinnett County - 157,835 ballots requested; 27,781 ballots returned and accepted

Breaking the absentee/mail-in vote down by race/ethnicity, Non-Hispanic White voters have returned 321.132 ballots compared to Non-Hispanic Black voters who have returned 189,024 ballots. According to the Elections Project, 447,392 of the ballots returned came from people who voted in the 2016 General Election while 137,325 or 23.5 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 432,000 of the more than 580,000 mail-in/absentee ballots coming from voters above the age of 55. Finally, female voters have returned more ballots than males by a 56.4 percent to 43.2 percent margin. Females also outnumber males in ballots requested by more than 247,000.

Nationwide, more than 21 million ballots have been returned and accepted by states, 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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