It’s election season in Georgia and before you know it, the Election day will be here. So to help prepare you for the upcoming months, we’ve put together a guide that will keep you in the loop of all election happenings in the state of Georgia.
ALSO CHECK OUT: Here Are Your Early Voting Dates In Atlanta
Quick Snapshot of Dates
Last Day to Register to Vote – October 9, 2018
Early Voting – October 15, 2018 – November 2, 2018
General Election Date – November 6, 2018
Important Dates for the Upcoming Election!
September 18, 2018 – County Election Boards started sending out Absentee Ballots
October 9, 2018 – Last day to register to be eligible to vote on November 6, 2018
October 15, 2018 – Advanced/Early Voting begins and continues until November 2, 2018
October 27, 2018 – Mandatory Saturday Voting
November 2, 2018 – Last day of Advanced/ Early Voting
November 2, 2018 – Last day to apply for an Absentee ballot and last day for elections officials to mail you an absentee ballot.
November 6, 2018 – General Election. Check with your County Election Board for times.
November 6, 2018 – All Absentee Ballots must be in County Elections Offices by end of business day.
December 10, 2018– Last day to register to be eligible to vote in the General Election runoff for federal races
ALSO CHECK OUT: Here Are Your Early Voting Dates In Atlanta
Registering to vote in Georgia is simple. Fulfill a few requirements and you qualify. You must be a US citizen, a legal resident of Georgia and a resident of the county where you want to vote. You must be 18 years old, and you must not be serving a sentence for having been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude.
If those requirements are met, and you have a Georgia driver’s license or Georgia ID, you’re eligible register online on the Secretary of State’s website. Don’t sweat it if you don’t have one of those identifications, because you can also register by printing out the voter registration application and mailing it in to your County Elections Office. On-line registration and downloading the application can done at this link.https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov/GAOLVR/welcometoga.do#no-back-button
If you move, you should submit a new voter registration application or write a letter to your County Elections board notifying them about your address change. If you move within the same county and don’t officially change your address, you may vote in your old polling place.
If you move outside the county within 30 days of an election, you may still vote in your old precinct. If you move outside the county and you haven’t re-registered after 30 days, you’ve lost your eligibility to vote. You must register in your new county of residence.
You can always check your voter registration status on the Secretary of State’s website athttps://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do.
In-person Voting and Absentee Voting!
Once you’re registered, you can cast your vote in-person or by mail with an Absentee Ballot.
Voting in person.
You may vote in-person on Election Day or during the Early Voting Period (Oct. 15-Nov. 2.) When you vote in-person, you must vote at your designated voting locations and bring the necessary photo ID. Find your voting locations on the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do
If you vote in-person, the state of Georgia requires you to bring an acceptable form of ID. A Georgia driver’s license is the most common identification, but there are several more. Find out the other forms of ID that are acceptable by visiting this link. http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/elections/georgia_voter_identification_requirements2
Voting by mail with an Absentee Ballot
Any registered voter can apply to vote by mail on an Absentee Ballot. Applications for Absentee Ballots are being accepted now until November 2, 2018. To apply, first download the application form, fill it out, mail it, walk-in or fax it to your County Elections office. Get your Absentee Ballot application here:
You do not need a Voter ID to cast an Absentee Ballot. Once you get your Absentee Ballot in the mail, you must mail it back to your County Elections office in the Oath Envelope provided. Your envelope must be postmarked on or before Election Day.
CAUTION: You may have to buy two stamps to return your Absentee Ballot. Some ballots are longer and heavier, so they may require more postage. If you don’t have enough postage on the envelope, the US Postal Service will return it to you. To be sure, weigh the envelope at the US Postal service to see whether two stamps are needed.
Remember, Georgia does not have a permanent absentee voter status, so if you apply now, it will only be for the upcoming election. A new application must be submitted each year.
MISTAKES that could result in your Absentee Ballot being rejected.
- No Signature – You have to sign the Oath Envelope for identity purposes.
- Wrong Envelope– You must use the Oath Envelope provided. If you lose it, contact your county elections office for a replacement.
- Unauthorized Return – If you decide to hand deliver your ballot, YOU must do it unless you are not disabled. Contact your elections officials for details.
- You wrote the Current Date on the Oath – Write the date of your birth and your name on the Oath Envelope.
- Different Personal Address – Use the address on file if you don’t want your ballot rejected.
If you forget to bring your photo ID to the polls, you can still vote. Ask your poll workers for a Provisional Ballot. Your vote will be counted as long as you show County Election officials that you have an acceptable form of ID within three days after Election Day.
Also, you can ask for a Provisional Ballot if your name does not appear on the list of registered voters for that precinct or if you show up at the wrong precinct. Don’t forget you have three days to clear things up with elections officials if you want your vote to count.
Got a Felony Conviction? You can vote!
Anyone with a felony conviction that has completed their dues to society is eligible to vote. In Georgia, voting rights are restored upon completion, but ex-felons must re-register to vote. Keep in mind, a person convicted of a felony cannot vote if he or she is incarcerated, on probation or on parole.
Be Prepared, get a Sample Ballot!
Who’s running for an election? What federal, state and local offices are on the ballot? Are there any ballot measures? Be better prepared to answer these questions by checking out a sample ballot for your county. See sample ballots for the upcoming election here. https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do
Contact your County Elections Offices
Contact information for all County Elections offices can be found at the link below. You’ll find phone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail information and office addresses. http://elections.sos.ga.gov/Elections/countyregistrars.do
Election Day Problems?
The Election Protection Coalition works 365 days a year to make sure that all voters have a fair opportunity to participate in the political process. If you run into any problems at the polls, call for help. The voter hotlines are administered by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Call one of the Election Protection hotlines below.
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)