Kemp receives absentee ballot while in quarantine, votes soon after

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who is in quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus, wound up voting after all after receiving his absentee ballot a day before the election.

It wasn’t previously clear whether the Republican governor’s absentee ballot would arrive in the mail in time for Kemp to vote after he announced Friday he would self-quarantine because he came in close contact with U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, who tested positive for the disease.

Kemp, who tested negative for the disease on Friday, had planned on voting in-person but requested the absentee ballot after learning of the exposure. He told WSB Radio that he received the ballot on Monday, and posted a video on Twitter of him returning the ballot at a drop box in Athens-Clarke County.

“I’m actually going to be voting today absentee after I had to go to the CDC quarantine protocols," he said in an interview with Scott Slade. "I figured that would be best. I actually got my ballot in the mail yesterday, so I’ve got it here ready to go, and I’ll be dropping it off later today.”

Georgia law and a court ruling required all absentee ballots to be received by county election officials before 7 p.m. on Election Day.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who might have been exposed to COVID-19 stay home for 14 days and avoid others. The CDC clarified on Sunday that the coronavirus doesn’t preclude people from exercising their right to vote.

Kemp’s office said he was in “good spirits” as he celebrated his birthday Monday while in isolation. But those close to him say he’s itching to return to action after being sidelined during a crucial stretch of the campaign.

Not surprisingly, Kemp told Slade he would vote for President Donald Trump and U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. The governor appointed Loeffler to an open U.S. Senate seat in December, and she faces 19 challengers on the special election ballot.