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How to get an absentee ballot for the Georgia primaries + deadline for requesting one

Primary day is May 24 and early voting begins on May 2.

ATLANTA — It's time to start thinking about voting in Georgia's primaries, with Primary Day itself on May 24 and early voting starting on Monday, May 2.

Georgia has changed several of its rules surrounding absentee ballots, including limitations on drop box availability. 

RELATED: Georgia primaries 2022 | Everything you need to know about voting early

If you're planning to request an absentee ballot and want to vote by mail, here's what you'll want to know:

How do I request an absentee ballot?

There are several ways you can request an absentee ballot.

The easiest is to do so online here (currently, as of Saturday April 30, that site is down however).

If that option isn't available, you can download and print the application, fill it out, and email it to your County Board of Registrar's Office. You can find your registrar's office information here.

You can also download and print the application and then mail it to your county registrar, fax it to them, or drop it off in person.

In some cases, you can also pick up an application in-person at your county's elections office and fill it out there on the spot.

When is the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot?

The last day to submit an application for an absentee ballot for the primaries is May 13.

Once I have an absentee ballot, how can I submit it?

Drop box rules have changed due to new Georgia laws - specifically, they can only be used now at the same times in-person early voting is going on - so you'll have to check with your county where and when you can use a drop box.

Check here for your county's early voting information.

You can also mail your ballot. Find your county registrar's address here.

When do I need to submit it by?

There isn't a hard deadline, but generally speaking the state leaves the burden on you to get it there in time - meaning the sooner, the better. If you mail it back the day before its due, for instance, chances are it won't get there on time.

 Do I have to be registered with a political party to get the primary ballot I want?

Nope, not in Georgia. You simply pick which one you want.

Note that if, for instance, you've voted in the Democratic primary in the past, you're not tied to doing that again. You can pick whichever one you want, and in the future you will still be able to pick whichever one you want.

The only catch is that if there's a runoff, you can only vote in the runoffs of the party you first voted in the primary with.

As for picking, it's very simple - there are three boxes near the top of the absentee ballot request form, and you just check which box you want.

In addition to Democratic and Republican ballots, you can also choose a nonpartisan ballot that would include only the non-party races, such as for local judges, if you don't wish to vote in any of the Democratic or Republican races.

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