Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a press conference at Liberty Plaza in downtown Atlanta to announce that more than 1 million Georgia voters have requested absentee ballots for the June 9 primary. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Money provided for election safety supplies and drop boxes in Georgia

The Georgia secretary of state’s office is distributing federal coronavirus relief money to county election offices for personal protective equipment, sanitizing disinfectant supplies and secure drop boxes.

Each county is eligible for up to $6,000 to reimburse their expenses related to the coronavirus, according to a grant program announced by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

The funding comes from nearly $11 million allocated to Georgia from $400 million in election-related coronavirus relief funds that Congress approved last month.

More than 1 million voters have requested absentee ballots, but in-person polling places will remain open for the June 9 primary.

Local election officials can receive $3,000 for equipment including masks, gloves, shields, disinfectant materials and alcohol wipes for election offices and polling places.

They’re also eligible for $3,000 for purchasing and installing drop boxes where voters can deliver their absentee ballots. The State Election Board recently allowed counties to use absentee ballot drop boxes for the primary, a provision that may be extended to future elections as well.

The remainder of Georgia’s coronavirus relief money will be used to defray costs of the state’s absentee ballot program, which included more than $3 million to mail absentee ballot request forms to all active voters and at least $1.88 for each ballot.

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