By Mark Niesse

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has re-opened voter registration in four South Georgia counties where Hurricane Michael forced their election offices to close last week.

Deal issued an executive order Monday extending the Oct. 9 voter registration deadline in Clay, Grady, Randolph and Turner counties. Those counties will accept voter registration applications through Tuesday, Oct. 16.

These counties were the only four in Georgia that closed their election offices on the day of the voter registration deadline.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp praised Deal for extending the deadline.

"With this extension, we can ensure that citizens in these counties can register to vote or update their voter record in time for the Nov. 6, 2018, election," Kemp said in a statement.

Kemp, a Republican, is running for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Early in-person voting began statewide Monday and lasts until Nov. 2. Election Day is Nov. 6.

(c)2018 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)