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AARP AARP States Georgia Voters

How to Register, Vote and Track Your Ballot in Georgia

En español | All Georgia voters can vote early by mail, but you’ll need to request a ballot. Early in-person voting is also an option. A 2021 law introduced new ID requirements for absentee ballots, among other changes.

The 2022 midterms decided races for the U.S. Senate and House, state Senate and House, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and other state executive offices, as well as several state high courts. The next statewide elections are in 2024, though there will be some local elections in 2023.

Essential info:

  • Upcoming elections: Visit the secretary of state’s website for information about elections when it becomes available.
  • Absentee or mail-in ballot voting: This is an option for all Georgia voters. But absentee ballots are not sent out automatically; you'll need to request and apply for one.
  • Early in-person voting: Also called advanced voting, this option is available to all registered voters. You can vote at any early polling site in your county.
  • Voting at the polls: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Residents Cast Ballots For Georgia Senate Runoff Election
Voters line up outside of a polling location in Atlanta.
Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Have there been any recent changes to voting in Georgia?

The passage of a 2021 voting law introduced some changes to voting procedures, some of which are being challenged in the courts. But in the meantime, here are new rules to remember: 

  • There are new ID requirements for requesting an absentee ballot.
  • Every county will have at least one drop box for absentee ballots; they will be indoors, under constant surveillance and not available 24/7.
  • Outer oath envelopes for absentee ballots must include the voter’s driver’s license or state ID number, or the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number.
  • Absentee ballots can’t be requested until 78 days before an election, down from 180 days.

A redistricting plan may affect the boundaries of your district and which candidates run there.  A legal battle over Georgia's redrawn political maps is ongoing.

How do I register to vote?

  • By mail: Download and complete a postage-paid voter registration application and return it to the secretary of state’s office. If you do not have a valid Georgia driver’s license or state identification card, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number or have the state provide you with a unique identification number. 
  • By phone: Call your county elections office to request a voter registration application. Or call the elections division of the secretary of state’s office at 404-656-2871.  
  • In person: Visit your county elections office. Or you can register to vote when you renew or apply for your driver’s license at the Georgia Department of Driver Services. You can also pick up and submit a voter registration form at public libraries, public assistance and other government offices, military recruitment stations, and colleges or schools with students of voting age.

Check your registration status by visiting the secretary of state’s My Voter Page. If after submitting your application you don’t receive a precinct card in the mail, call your county elections office to check the status of your application. A precinct card proves you’re registered to vote and tells you where to vote, but you’re not required to have it with you when you vote. 

Find a list of upcoming elections and registration deadlines on the secretary of state’s 2023 election calendar when it becomes available.

Does party affiliation matter when I vote in the primaries?

Georgia voters do not select a political party affiliation when they register to vote. But during political primary elections, you can choose to participate in the Democratic or Republican primary by selecting a party ballot. Or you can choose a nonpartisan ballot. If you opt to use a party ballot in the primary and a runoff election follows, you can vote only in the primary runoff of the party you selected before. 

No matter what ballot you choose in the primaries, you will not be formally affiliated with any party. 

How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot?

Any registered Georgia voter can request an absentee ballot online, by email, by mail, by phone or in person. Requests must be made no later than 11 days before the election.

  • By phone: Call your county election’s office to request an application. Or call the elections division of the secretary of state’s office at 404-656-2871.  

Absentee ballot applications require a valid Georgia driver’s license, a state ID card number, the last four digits of a Social Security number or other identifying documents outlined on the secretary of state’s website.

Certain voters — including military members and their families, those 65 and older, and people with disabilities — can make a single request that absentee ballots be sent for every election this year, except special elections. Everyone else needs a separate request for each election and runoff.

How can I return my absentee ballot?

Completed absentee ballots can be returned in person or by mail. Be sure to include your driver’s license or state ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number, on the outer envelope.

  • In person: Your county’s drop box locations will be available when you log in to the My Voter Page. You can also hand-deliver your ballot to your county elections office on Election Day, but make sure you get there before it closes.
  • By mail: Mail completed ballots to your county registrar. Mail your ballot at least seven days before the election to help ensure it arrives by the time polls close on the day of the runoff. Postage is required.

Ballots must arrive at your county elections office by the close of polls on Election Day.

Can I track my absentee ballot?

Yes, the status of your mail-in or absentee ballot can be tracked through the secretary of state’s My Voter Page and Georgia BallotTrax

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes. Early in-person voting, also known as advanced absentee in-person voting, is available to all registered voters starting on the fourth Monday before an election and ending on the Friday before the election.

Unlike Election Day, when you must go to your precinct’s polling place, during early voting you can go to any advanced polling location in your county. Check with your county elections office or visit My Voter Page for voting times and locations.

What do I need to know about voting at the polls on Election Day?

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On the day of the election, you can only vote in your precinct. Check the My Voter Page contact your county elections office to confirm your polling location. If you're in line before the polls close, you'll be allowed to vote.

Do I need identification to vote?

You must show an acceptable form of photo identification when voting in person, which can be: 

  • A Georgia driver’s license, even if it’s expired 
  • A valid U.S. passport 
  • Any valid photo ID card issued by the state or federal government, including a free ID card issued by the Georgia Department of Driver Services or your county registrar’s office 
  • A valid U.S. military photo ID card 
  • A valid tribal photo ID card 
  • A valid employee photo ID card from any department, branch, entity or agency of the U.S. government or any state, county, municipality, authority, board or other Georgia entity 

If you don’t have an acceptable form of photo identification, you can get a free voter ID card from the Department of Driver Services or any county registrar’s office

If you have trouble getting a free voter ID card or have questions about the identification requirements, contact your county registrar’s or election office, or the secretary of state’s elections division at 404-656-2871 (toll-free at 844-753-7825). TTY callers can dial 404-656-1787. 

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Dec. 7, 2022, with information about how to vote in Georgia. The guide was first published on July 31, 2020.

Also of Interest: 

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