Georgia Gov. Kemp may not be able to vote during COVID-19 quarantine

Members of the news media surround then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate for Georgia governor, after he cast his vote Nov. 6, 2018, at the Winterville Train Depot. The governor, now self-quarantining after close contact with somebody who has COVID-19, would violate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines if he voted in person on Tuesday. He has asked for an absentee ballot. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
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Members of the news media surround then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate for Georgia governor, after he cast his vote Nov. 6, 2018, at the Winterville Train Depot. The governor, now self-quarantining after close contact with somebody who has COVID-19, would violate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines if he voted in person on Tuesday. He has asked for an absentee ballot. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp might not be able to vote because he’s in quarantine after close contact with U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, who tested positive for the coronavirus Friday.

Kemp, who tested negative for the virus, has requested an absentee ballot, his spokesman said.

But an absentee ballot requested Friday is unlikely to arrive in the mail before polls close Tuesday. Georgia law and a court ruling required all absentee ballots to be received by county election officials before 7 p.m. on Election Day.

ExploreUpdate: CDC says Georgia Gov. Kemp and others can go vote while in quarantine

Kemp also couldn’t vote in person on Tuesday without violating coronavirus guidelines from the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days and stay away from others.

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Brian Kemp, shown with his daughter Amy Porter while he was campaigning in 2018 to become Georgia's governor, casts his vote at the Winterville Train Depot in Athens-Clarke County. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Brian Kemp, shown with his daughter Amy Porter while he was campaigning in 2018 to become Georgia's governor, casts his vote at the Winterville Train Depot in Athens-Clarke County. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Caption
Brian Kemp, shown with his daughter Amy Porter while he was campaigning in 2018 to become Georgia's governor, casts his vote at the Winterville Train Depot in Athens-Clarke County. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Kemp’s office didn’t comment besides confirming his request for an absentee ballot.

Kemp, a Republican, previously served as Georgia’s top election official for eight years as secretary of state. He supports President Donald Trump and appointed U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who is now running in a field of 21 candidates to retain her seat.

While state law allows registered voters to request absentee ballots through Friday, election officials can’t ensure that they’ll arrive in time.

“The post office cannot guarantee delivery in this short timespan,” Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said. “Our office has given the public since May to request an absentee ballot. The state has three weeks of early voting, giving a voter ample opportunity to vote in various different ways.”

If Kemp’s absentee ballot arrives by Tuesday, he could return it to one of six drop boxes available in his home county in Athens.

During the 2018 election, Kemp voted in person on Election Day in Athens-Clarke County. He defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams to become Georgia’s governor.

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