ATLANTA — Editors note: The video above concerns new Georgia laws on absentee ballots.
Georgia elections are quickly approaching, and many people have decided to vote by mail. Here's everything to know about casting an absentee ballot by mail in the Peach State.
The first thing to note is absentee, and mail-in ballots are the same, and anyone registered to vote in Georgia can request their ballots by mail with an absentee ballot, according to the state's website.
Those voting in the November General Election by an absentee mail-in ballot must complete their application by Friday, Oct. 28.
Register to vote in Georgia
Check your registration in Georgia, and make sure all personal information is up to date. To register, you'll need a form of voter identification, "such as a government-issued driver’s license or identification card," the state said online.
If you haven't registered before, make sure you're eligible. To register to vote in Georgia, you must:
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- Be a legal resident of the county.
- Be at least 17.5 years of age to register and 18 years of age to vote.
- Not be serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.
- Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge.
Request an absentee mail-in ballot
Ballots must be submitted by the Friday, Oct. 28 deadline and can be requested online, by email, mail, fax or in-person. Requests can be made between 78 and 11 days before Election Day. Here are all the ways to request a ballot from the state, according to its website.
- Visit the Secretary of State's online portal for absentee ballot requests.
- Follow the portal prompts to request your ballot online.
- Once you have submitted your information, you should receive an email confirmation.
Submit by email, mail or fax
Submit in person
Vote, then track and verify ballot approval
Once the request is approved, residents will receive the ballot in the mail at the address listed on the application.
Fill out, sign the ballot and follow any instructions provided. Voters can return their ballot by mail, hand-delivered to the county registrar or put it in their county's drop box.
Then, mail it in with enough time to arrive by Election Day. Ballots that are not filled correctly may not be counted. If dropping off in dropbox, it must be the same county listed on the ballot.
Here's a list of drop-off locations for Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Cobb and Clayton County, according to their websites.
Verify that the ballot was accepted on the Georgia My Voter Page by logging in and looking for “Absentee Ballot Request Information.” Georgia voters can also track their absentee ballots through BallotTrax. The online tracking tool allows voters to monitor the status of their absentee ballots through the United States Postal Service.
Issues with ballots
The county elections office will contact the resident to fix the ballot for rejected ballots.
Contact your county's registrar if the ballot does not show up after requesting it. Another ballot will be sent if there's enough time.
If one cannot be sent for any reason, residents can vote in person but must sign a document stating that they only voted once. People who turned in their absentee ballot cannot turn around and vote in person.
"Once you return your absentee ballot, you have voted," Georgia's website said.
11Alive is committed to helping you vote confidently by understanding the 2022 election issues that impact you. Our goal is to educate and inform our audience about the election process. We plan to do that by verifying facts, providing context, and explaining the system. Get more election resources here at /vote.