Neither candidate in the race for Atlanta's next mayor received more than 50 percent of the vote so on Tuesday, Dec. 5, there will be a runoff.

City Council members Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood are the candidates. Bottoms and Norwood finished first and second respectively, in the Nov. 7 general election.

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Many have asked if they are still eligible to vote in the runoff if they did not vote in the general election. 11Alive's VERIFY team set out to get the official answer.

State law on runoff elections reads:

"Only the electors who were duly registered to vote and not subsequently deemed disqualified to vote in the primary, special primary, election, or special election for candidates for that particular office shall be entitled to vote therein, and only those votes cast for the persons designated as candidates in such run-off primary, special primary runoff, run-off election, or special election runoff shall be counted in the tabulation and canvass of the votes cast. No elector shall vote in a run-off primary or special primary runoff in violation of Code Section 21-2-224."

11Alive can VERIFY that registered voters are eligible to vote in the Dec. 5 runoff election, even if they did not vote in the general election in November.

Director of Fulton County Registration and Elections Richard Barron said, "People who were registered to vote in Fulton County by October 10th, but decided against casting ballot in the Municipal General on November 7th are eligible to vote December 5th."

In the state of Georgia, the only time you cannot vote in a runoff is if it is a runoff of a primary election where you voted for a different party. In those cases, you cannot vote for candidates in two parties.

That, however, is not the case for the Atlanta Mayoral race or any of the other races in a runoff.


It should be noted that polls in the City of Atlanta close at 8:00 p.m. However, residents of Atlanta who live in Dekalb County will use paper ballots after 7:00 p.m. because electric voting machines will be cut-off at 7:00 p.m. That's because polls throughout the rest of Dekalb County close at 7:00 p.m.


Georgia code: O.C.G.A. 21-2-501