Voting, COVID-19, and more

6.8.2020
Staff
Rep. Scott Holcomb Newsletter

Greetings:

I want to begin by stating that I hope this finds you well. We are simultaneously navigating a pandemic, an economic crisis, and a long overdue national (and even international) refutation of racism. I remain concerned about the coronavirus and its impact on the economy (both in the short and long-term), but I am hopeful that the protests will spur lasting change in this country and an end to systemic racism. It's time.

The General Assembly returns on June 15th to conclude the 2020 legislative session. The session was suspended after day 29, and we have 11 days to go. The primary task will be passing the budget, which will be challenging. Agencies were required to submit proposals that cut 14%. Cuts at these levels are devastating and will impact the provision of services. We will also consider other measures. For example, pressure is building for the Senate to pass hate crimes legislation (House Bill 426) that was passed by the House in March 2019.

Below is information concerning the primary election, specifically information about what to do if you have not received your absentee ballot, or if you received your ballot but did not have time to mail it. In addition, we share information about the state's continuing response to COVID-19.

If you need any help with any state-related issues, please let me know.

Take good care,
Scott

June 9th primary election information:

Your last opportunity to vote in the 2020 Primary is this Tuesday, June 9. Be sure to bring one of the six forms of ID in order to vote.

Where to vote:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many changes in DeKalb made to county polling locations. Here is a list of the changes: https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/sites/default/files/users/user3587/Emergency%20Polling%20Place%20Changes%20Corrected.pdf
Here is a link for Gwinnett's polling locations: https://www.gwinnettcounty.com/web/gwinnett/Departments/Elections/PollingPlaceLocator

If you have cast an absentee ballot:
You can check to see it if has been received and accepted here:
https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/voterDetails.do

If you have an absentee ballot but have not mailed it:
Do not mail it. It's too late. However, you still have time to submit your absentee ballot in one of the dropboxes. Your ballot must be deposited in a dropbox by 7 PM on June 9. Here is a list of the locations: https://www.ajc.com/news/state—regional-govt—politics/where-find-ballot-drop-boxes-metro-atlanta/eNbdsawjWjqXTppWxhzq6J/

You may also bring it to your polling place and vote in person. You will return the absentee ballot to the poll worker.

If you lost your absentee ballot, or didn't receive it, or it has not yet been received and accepted by the county board of elections (you can check at https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/voterDetails.do) :
If you have not received an absentee ballot, lost it, or if you have returned the absentee ballot, but the registrars have not received the ballot, you may cancel the absentee ballot by making a written request to have the ballot marked "cancelled." The managers of your precinct shall permit you to vote in person at that precinct.

What is on the ballot?
If you have not yet voted in the presidential primary, you will do so on Tuesday. In addition, you'll be voting for your Congressperson, State Representative, State Senator, and DeKalb sheriff, several judicial positions including two state Supreme Court seats, one of the two U.S. Senate seat races, and, depending on where you live, possibly a school board seat, a county commission seat, and Gwinnett County Chair. To see the full partisan and nonpartisan sample ballots, click here for DeKalb County, and https://www.gwinnettcounty.com/web/gwinnett/Departments/Elections/SampleBallots
for Gwinnett County.

My name is on the ballot, but I am unopposed.

If you have problems at your polling place or get turned away:
If you experience any issues at the polling place that prevent you from casting your ballot, please call the Georgia Voter Protection Line for assistance: 1-888-730-5816

COVID-19 Update:

I continue to closely track the impact of the novel coronavirus on our state. A few weeks ago, I sent a letter to the Governor's Office because I was concerned by how data was being presented. The dates were presented in non-chronological order to give the impression that numbers were declining. Unfortunately, there have been other incidents since then.

The story about Georgia's data was widely covered. Here are some of the articles:
https://www.ajc.com/news/state—regional-govt—politics/just-cuckoo-state-latest-data-mishap-causes-critics-cry-foul/182PpUvUX9XEF8vO11NVGO/
"It's just cuckoo," said state Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, who sent the letter outlining his concerns to the governor's office on Monday. The bar chart that stirred the latest controversy was revised shortly afterwards. "I don't know how anyone can defend this graph as not being misleading. I really don't."

Washington Post:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/18/only-america-is-sunday-day-after-thursday/

The governor's office apologized for what state Rep. Scott Holcomb, an Atlanta Democrat, properly called a "cuckoo" presentation of data. But as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted, it was the third such "error" in as many weeks involving sloppy counting of cases, deaths and other measures tracking covid-19. Another official state chart continues to show cases dropping dramatically over 14 days, with an asterisk explaining that "confirmed cases over the last 14 days may not be accounted for due to illnesses yet to be reported or test results may still be pending."

https://www.foxnews.com/us/georgia-health-department-apologize-coronavirus-data-gaffe-processing-error

By May 12, Holcomb said he discussed with Kemp over the phone how to better display data and had learned "the vendor who publishes the data on the DPH website thought it would be helpful."
"I shared my opinion that it wasn't," Holcomb said. "This data is being used to inform state policy, and it's also being used by individuals. It's incredibly important for the data to be as accurate as possible and to be presented in a manner that is not misleading."
Here are sources for data that may be helpful:

DPH
https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report
GEMA
https://gema.georgia.gov/emergencies-0/coronavirus
DeKalb Health
https://www.dekalbhealth.net/covid-19/
Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale Health
https://www.gnrhealth.com/covid-19-info/


School Reopening Guidelines: Georgia Education officials issued a 10 page document, entitled "Georgia's Path to Recovery for Georgia's K-12 Schools," containing guidelines for the reopening of schools: https://www.ajc.com/news/state—regional-education/state-releases-guidance-for-how-georgia-schools-should-open-the-fall/cO0fJN8H6wT7ii9nTYJSUP/. Over the next several weeks, school districts will be considering various options for bringing students back while observing social distancing, heightened sanitation, health screenings, and other methods to lessen the likelihood of COVID outbreaks within schools. Districts will be examining various options, including combinations of virtual and live classroom instruction. It should be noted that in-person summer school is now permitted, as long as a number of specific precautions are in place.

Governor's Re-opening Plan: Governor Kemp's latest orders regarding re-opening include the following:
Bars, Nightclubs & Amusement Parks:
On Monday, June 1st, bars and nightclubs were reopened if they met 33 requirements and limited occupancy. Amusement parks, carnivals, and circuses may open with restrictions beginning June 12th. Live-performance venues remain closed, but gatherings of up to 25 people are now allowed.
Overnight Summer Camps:
Beginning May 31,2020, overnight summer camps have been permitted in Georgia if they meet 33 specific criteria for reopening in addition to the requirements for operating a non-critical infrastructure business.
Sports Leagues:
Amateur and professional sports are now allowed, with specific guidelines.

The Governor's full message is here: https://gov.georgia.gov/press-releases/2020-05-28/kemp-state-officials-give-update-covid-19




More Articles

2020 Legislative Update

7.3.2020
Rep. Scott Holcomb

The 2020 legislative session was unlike any other. The session adjourned on Friday, March 13, 2020, because of COVID-19. The following Monday, March 16, 2020, the General Assembly returned to the Capitol for a one-day emergency session to concur with Governor Kemp's declaration of a state of emergency. That state of emergency remains in effect. Read More »


Voting, COVID-19, and more

6.8.2020
Staff
Rep. Scott Holcomb Newsletter

I want to begin by stating that I hope this finds you well. We are simultaneously navigating a pandemic, an economic crisis, and a long overdue national (and even international) refutation of racism. Read More »


Governor to Order Shelter-in-Place

4.3.2020

Gov. Kemp issued a shelter-in-place order for the state in an effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus. The order has exceptions, including grocery stores, medical suppliers, and certain manufacturing. In addition to the shelter-in-place, K-12 school buildings are ordered to remain closed through the remainder of the academic year. Read More »