Thoughts from a Georgia Lawyer: Go Vote!

In case you haven’t heard, today is election day. After a contentious campaign, Americans around the country are taking to the polls. In fact, many have already voted both by absentee/mail-in ballots and during early voting periods. Reports have estimated that early voting totals have, in some states, already surpassed the total number of ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election.

Voting in Georgia

Georgia does not have same-day registration, so if you did not register by October 5, you will not be able to vote in today’s presidential election. The Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter page can be found here. There you can check your registration status, find your poll location, see a sample ballot, and check the status of your mail-in ballot.

Georgia requires that you present a state-issued ID in order to vote in person. These include:

  • Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID,
  • A Georgia driver’s license (even if expired),
  • Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority, or other entity of the state,
  • Valid U.S. passport,
  • Valid U.S. military ID,
  • Student photo ID card issued by a Georgia public college, university, or technical school, or
  • A valid tribal photo ID.

If you do not have a valid photo ID, you can fill out a provisional ballot. If you are voting for the first time, you will need to provide a copy of your ID within three (3) days of the election to your County Board of Elections & Registration.

Voters’ Rights

Note:  This information is largely adapted from the ACLU’s Voting Rights page. Find more information on your rights as a voter there.

As a voter (in Georgia or elsewhere), you have the following rights:

  • If the polls close while you are waiting in line, stay in line. 
  • You have the right to ask for a paper ballot if the machines are broken at your polling location.
  • If the poll worker says that you aren’t on the list of registered voters, you are entitled to cast a provisional ballot.
  • If you run into trouble while voting, are turned away from the polls, or denied a provisional ballot, call the ACLU’s Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Espanol).

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you on the other side!

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