Political campaigns get makeover in wake of coronavirus pandemic

Gone are the days of meet and greets, door knocking and rallies ... at least for now.

Political campaigns are getting a makeover by COVID-19.

2020 candidates at all levels are courting voters, while keeping their distance, through screens.

Take Georgia's 7th Congressional district for example: A sprawling field of candidates are fighting to replace five-term U.S. Rep. Robert Woodall through digital mediums.

"You can't be in front of people personally, but at the same time, the technology allows me to be in a lot more living rooms all at the same time, particularly with the town halls," said Mark Gonsalves, a Republican candidate for the 7th District.

Gonsalves, along with many of his opponents, host a weekly town hall via Facebook.

Initially, 600 views may not seem like a lot, but it trumps the number of attendees who would typically show up to a House race town hall in-person.

Democratic candidate Carolyn Bourdeaux greeted followers on her Facebook page, "Welcome to my home," before launching into a discussion around how Georgia's May 19 primary should be conducted.

Opponent Nabilah Islam engaged her 2,500 Instagram followers, opening up on "her story."

"I know a lot of families out there are suffering," Islam said. "My mother today actually lost her job due to the virus."

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While many admit nothing beats fielding voters' questions face to face, COVID-19 has failed to deflate campaigns in today's age of technology.

"I think person-to-person contact is very important," said Islam. "Nothing can ever replace that. We're all sort of in uncharted territory in how we can connect with voters. With that being said, the average age in my district is about 36-years-old. We're a really young district; people are on their computers, people have a smart phone."

More than 280,000 Georgians have already cast their ballots in this year's primary, but for those who have not, you will be receiving an absentee ballot request form on your doorstep. You must return that form to get an actual ballot in the mail.

This is part of an unprecedented effort from the Secretary of State's Office to offer safe options for the May 19 primary in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.