Georgia Glossary

§ 21-2-216. Qualifications of electors generally; reregistration of electors purged from list; eligibility of nonresidents who vote in presidential elections; retention of qualification for standing as elector; evidence of citizenship; check of convicted felons and deceased persons databases

(a) No person shall vote in any primary or election held in this state unless such person shall be:

(1) Registered as an elector in the manner prescribed by law;

(2) A citizen of this state and of the United States;

(3) At least 18 years of age on or before the date of the primary or election in which such person seeks to vote;

(4) A resident of this state and of the county or municipality in which he or she seeks to vote; and

(5) Possessed of all other qualifications prescribed by law.

(b) In addition to the qualifications in subsection (a) of this Code section, no person who has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude may register, remain registered, or vote except upon completion of the sentence and no person who has been judicially determined to be mentally incompetent may register, remain registered, or vote unless the disability has been removed.

(c) Any person who possesses the qualifications of an elector except that concerning age shall be permitted to register to vote if such person will acquire such qualification within six months after the day of registration; provided, however, that such person shall not be permitted to vote in a primary or election unless such person shall be at least 18 years of age on or before the date of the primary or election in which such person seeks to vote.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, any person who was qualified and registered to vote on June 24, 1964, shall not be required to reregister under the terms of this article unless such person shall have become or becomes disqualified to vote by reason of having been purged from the list of electors or for any other reason whatsoever, in which event such person shall, in order to become registered to vote, reregister under the terms of this article.

(e) If any citizen of this state begins residence in another state after the thirtieth day next preceding any election for President and Vice President and, for that reason, does not satisfy the registration requirements of that state, such citizen shall be allowed to vote for presidential and vice presidential electors, in that election, in person in this state if such citizen satisfied, as of the date of such citizen's change of residence, the requirements to vote in this state, or by absentee ballot in this state if such citizen satisfies, but for such citizen's nonresident status and the reason for such citizen's absence, the requirements for absentee voting in this state.

(f) No person shall remain an elector longer than such person shall retain the qualifications under which such person registered.

(g)

(1) On and after January 1, 2010, an application for registration under this chapter shall be accompanied by satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship. Upon the receipt of an application without satisfactory evidence of citizenship, the board of registrars shall notify the applicant in writing of the requirement to provide satisfactory evidence of citizenship. The board of registrars shall not determine the eligibility of the applicant until and unless satisfactory evidence of citizenship is supplied by the applicant. If the initial application is received without satisfactory evidence of citizenship prior to the close of voter registration preceding an election, but the applicant supplies satisfactory evidence of citizenship on or prior to the date of such election and the applicant is found eligible to vote, the applicant shall be permitted to vote in the election and any run-off elections resulting therefrom and subsequent elections; provided, however, that those electors who register to vote for the first time in this state by mail also shall supply current and valid identification as required in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-220. In the event the applicant does not respond to the request for the missing information within 30 days following the sending of notification to provide satisfactory evidence of citizenship, the application shall be rejected.

(2) Satisfactory evidence of citizenship shall include any of the following:

(A) The number of the applicant's Georgia driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Driver Services if the applicant has provided satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship to the Department of Driver Services or a legible photocopy of the applicant's driver's license or identification card issued by an equivalent government agency of another state if the agency indicates on the driver's license or identification card that the applicant has provided satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship to the agency;

(B) A legible photocopy of the applicant's birth certificate that verifies citizenship to the satisfaction of the board of registrars;

(C) A legible photocopy of pertinent pages of the applicant's United States passport identifying the applicant and the applicant's passport number or presentation to the board of registrars of the applicant's United States passport;

(D) A presentation to the board of registrars of a legible copy of the applicant's United States naturalization documents or the alien registration number from the applicant's naturalization documents. If only the applicant's alien registration number is provided, the applicant shall not be found eligible to vote until the applicant's alien registration number is verified with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services by the board of registrars;

(E) Other documents or methods of proof that are established pursuant to the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (P. L. 99-603);

(F) The applicant's Bureau of Indian Affairs card, tribal treaty card, or tribal enrollment card; and

(G) For residents of this state who are United States citizens but are not in possession of any of the documents or methods of proof enumerated under subparagraphs (A) through (F) of this paragraph, other documents or methods of proof for establishing evidence of United States citizenship which shall be promulgated by rule and regulation of the State Election Board.

(3) Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection, any person who is registered in this state on December 31, 2009, shall be deemed to have provided satisfactory evidence of citizenship and shall not be required to submit evidence of citizenship.

(4) After citizenship has been demonstrated to a board of registrars, an elector shall not be required to resubmit satisfactory evidence of citizenship in that or any other county in this state so long as the person continuously remains an elector of this state.

(5) For the purposes of this subsection, proof of voter registration from another state shall not be satisfactory evidence of citizenship.

(6) After a person has submitted satisfactory evidence of citizenship, the board of registrars shall indicate such information on the elector's voter registration record. After two years, the board of registrars may destroy all documents that were submitted as evidence of citizenship.

(7) The Secretary of State shall establish procedures to match an applicant's voter registration information to the information contained in the data base maintained by the Department of Driver Services for the verification of the accuracy of the information provided on the application for voter registration, including whether the applicant has provided satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship.

(h) Prior to approving the application of a person to register to vote, the registrars may check the data bases of persons convicted of felonies and deceased persons maintained by the Secretary of State.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-216, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 712, § 1/SB 86; Ga. L. 2011, p. 683, § 6/SB 82; Ga. L. 2017, p. 697, § 7/HB 268; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 5/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-216. Qualifications of electors generally; reregistration of electors purged from list; eligibility of nonresidents who vote in presidential elections; retention of qualification for standing as elector; evidence of citizenship; check of convicted felons and deceased persons databases

(a) No person shall vote in any primary or election held in this state unless such person shall be:

(1) Registered as an elector in the manner prescribed by law;

(2) A citizen of this state and of the United States;

(3) At least 18 years of age on or before the date of the primary or election in which such person seeks to vote;

(4) A resident of this state and of the county or municipality in which he or she seeks to vote; and

(5) Possessed of all other qualifications prescribed by law.

(b) In addition to the qualifications in subsection (a) of this Code section, no person who has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude may register, remain registered, or vote except upon completion of the sentence and no person who has been judicially determined to be mentally incompetent may register, remain registered, or vote unless the disability has been removed.

(c) Any person who possesses the qualifications of an elector except that concerning age shall be permitted to register to vote if such person will acquire such qualification within six months after the day of registration; provided, however, that such person shall not be permitted to vote in a primary or election unless such person shall be at least 18 years of age on or before the date of the primary or election in which such person seeks to vote.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, any person who was qualified and registered to vote on June 24, 1964, shall not be required to reregister under the terms of this article unless such person shall have become or becomes disqualified to vote by reason of having been purged from the list of electors or for any other reason whatsoever, in which event such person shall, in order to become registered to vote, reregister under the terms of this article.

(e) If any citizen of this state begins residence in another state after the thirtieth day next preceding any election for President and Vice President and, for that reason, does not satisfy the registration requirements of that state, such citizen shall be allowed to vote for presidential and vice presidential electors, in that election, in person in this state if such citizen satisfied, as of the date of such citizen's change of residence, the requirements to vote in this state, or by absentee ballot in this state if such citizen satisfies, but for such citizen's nonresident status and the reason for such citizen's absence, the requirements for absentee voting in this state.

(f) No person shall remain an elector longer than such person shall retain the qualifications under which such person registered.

(g)

(1) On and after January 1, 2010, an application for registration under this chapter shall be accompanied by satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship. Upon the receipt of an application without satisfactory evidence of citizenship, the board of registrars shall notify the applicant in writing of the requirement to provide satisfactory evidence of citizenship. The board of registrars shall not determine the eligibility of the applicant until and unless satisfactory evidence of citizenship is supplied by the applicant. If the initial application is received without satisfactory evidence of citizenship prior to the close of voter registration preceding an election, but the applicant supplies satisfactory evidence of citizenship on or prior to the date of such election and the applicant is found eligible to vote, the applicant shall be permitted to vote in the election and any run-off elections resulting therefrom and subsequent elections; provided, however, that those electors who register to vote for the first time in this state by mail also shall supply current and valid identification as required in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-220. In the event the applicant does not respond to the request for the missing information within 30 days following the sending of notification to provide satisfactory evidence of citizenship, the application shall be rejected.

(2) Satisfactory evidence of citizenship shall include any of the following:

(A) The number of the applicant's Georgia driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Driver Services if the applicant has provided satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship to the Department of Driver Services or a legible photocopy of the applicant's driver's license or identification card issued by an equivalent government agency of another state if the agency indicates on the driver's license or identification card that the applicant has provided satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship to the agency;

(B) A legible photocopy of the applicant's birth certificate that verifies citizenship to the satisfaction of the board of registrars;

(C) A legible photocopy of pertinent pages of the applicant's United States passport identifying the applicant and the applicant's passport number or presentation to the board of registrars of the applicant's United States passport;

(D) A presentation to the board of registrars of a legible copy of the applicant's United States naturalization documents or the alien registration number from the applicant's naturalization documents. If only the applicant's alien registration number is provided, the applicant shall not be found eligible to vote until the applicant's alien registration number is verified with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services by the board of registrars;

(E) Other documents or methods of proof that are established pursuant to the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (P. L. 99-603);

(F) The applicant's Bureau of Indian Affairs card, tribal treaty card, or tribal enrollment card; and

(G) For residents of this state who are United States citizens but are not in possession of any of the documents or methods of proof enumerated under subparagraphs (A) through (F) of this paragraph, other documents or methods of proof for establishing evidence of United States citizenship which shall be promulgated by rule and regulation of the State Election Board.

(3) Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection, any person who is registered in this state on December 31, 2009, shall be deemed to have provided satisfactory evidence of citizenship and shall not be required to submit evidence of citizenship.

(4) After citizenship has been demonstrated to a board of registrars, an elector shall not be required to resubmit satisfactory evidence of citizenship in that or any other county in this state so long as the person continuously remains an elector of this state.

(5) For the purposes of this subsection, proof of voter registration from another state shall not be satisfactory evidence of citizenship.

(6) After a person has submitted satisfactory evidence of citizenship, the board of registrars shall indicate such information on the elector's voter registration record. After two years, the board of registrars may destroy all documents that were submitted as evidence of citizenship.

(7) The Secretary of State shall establish procedures to match an applicant's voter registration information to the information contained in the data base maintained by the Department of Driver Services for the verification of the accuracy of the information provided on the application for voter registration, including whether the applicant has provided satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship.

(h) Prior to approving the application of a person to register to vote, the registrars may check the data bases of persons convicted of felonies and deceased persons maintained by the Secretary of State.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-216, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 712, § 1/SB 86; Ga. L. 2011, p. 683, § 6/SB 82; Ga. L. 2017, p. 697, § 7/HB 268; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 5/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 
§ 21-2-217. Rules for determining residence

(a) In determining the residence of a person desiring to register to vote or to qualify to run for elective office, the following rules shall be followed so far as they are applicable:

(1) The residence of any person shall be held to be in that place in which such person's habitation is fixed, without any present intention of removing therefrom;

(2) A person shall not be considered to have lost such person's residence who leaves such person's home and goes into another state or county or municipality in this state, for temporary purposes only, with the intention of returning, unless such person shall register to vote or perform other acts indicating a desire to change such person's citizenship and residence;

(3) A person shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county or municipality of this state into which such person has come for temporary purposes only without the intention of making such county or municipality such person's permanent place of abode;

(4) If a person removes to another state with the intention of making it such person's residence, such person shall be considered to have lost such person's residence in this state;

(4.1) If a person removes to another county or municipality in this state with the intention of making it such person's residence, such person shall be considered to have lost such person's residence in the former county or municipality in this state;

(5) If a person removes to another state with the intention of remaining there an indefinite time and making such state such person's place of residence, such person shall be considered to have lost such person's residence in this state, notwithstanding that such person may intend to return at some indefinite future period;

(6) If a person removes to another county or municipality within this state with the intention of remaining there an indefinite time and making such other county or municipality such person's place of residence, such person shall be considered to have lost such person's residence in the former county or municipality, notwithstanding that such person may intend to return at some indefinite future period;

(7) The residence for voting purposes of a person shall not be required to be the same as the residence for voting purposes of his or her spouse;

(8) No person shall be deemed to have gained or lost a residence by reason of such person's presence or absence while enrolled as a student at any college, university, or other institution of learning in this state;

(9) The mere intention to acquire a new residence, without the fact of removal, shall avail nothing; neither shall the fact of removal without the intention;

(10) No member of the armed forces of the United States shall be deemed to have acquired a residence in this state by reason of being stationed on duty in this state;

(11) If a person removes to the District of Columbia or other federal territory, another state, or foreign country to engage in government service, such person shall not be considered to have lost such person's residence in this state during the period of such service; and the place where the person resided at the time of such person's removal shall be considered and held to be such person's place of residence;

(12) If a person is adjudged mentally ill and is committed to an institution for the mentally ill, such person shall not be considered to have gained a residence in the county in which the institution to which such person is committed is located;

(13) If a person goes into another state and while there exercises the right of a citizen by voting, such person shall be considered to have lost such person's residence in this state;

(14) The specific address in the county or municipality in which a person has declared a homestead exemption, if a homestead exemption has been claimed, shall be deemed the person's residence address; and

(15) For voter registration purposes, the board of registrars and, for candidacy residency purposes, the Secretary of State, election superintendent, or hearing officer may consider evidence of where the person receives significant mail such as personal bills and any other evidence that indicates where the person resides.

(b) In determining a voter's qualification to register and vote, the registrars to whom such application is made shall consider, in addition to the applicant's expressed intent, any relevant circumstances determining the applicant's residence. The registrars taking such registration may consider the applicant's financial independence, business pursuits, employment, income sources, residence for income tax purposes, age, marital status, residence of parents, spouse, and children, if any, leaseholds, sites of personal and real property owned by the applicant, motor vehicle and other personal property registration, and other such factors that the registrars may reasonably deem necessary to determine the qualification of an applicant to vote in a primary or election. The decision of the registrars to whom such application is made shall be presumptive evidence of a person's residence for voting purposes.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-217, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 21, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 52, § 9; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 16.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-218. Cancellation of registration in former state or county; address changes and corrections

(a) Any person, who is registered to vote in another state and who moves such person's residence from that state to this state, shall, at the time of making application to register to vote in this state, provide such information as specified by the Secretary of State in order to notify such person's former voting jurisdiction of the person's application to register to vote in this state and to cancel such person's registration in the former place of residence.

(b) Any person, who is registered to vote in another county or municipality in this state and who moves such person's residence from that county or municipality to another county or municipality in this state, shall, at the time of making application to register to vote in that county or municipality, provide such information as specified by the Secretary of State in order to notify such person's former voting jurisdiction of the person's application to register to vote in the new place of residence and to cancel such person's registration in the former place of residence.

(c) In the event that an elector moves to a residence within the county or municipality and has a different address from the address contained on the person's registration card, it shall be the duty of such elector to notify the board of registrars of such fact by the fifth Monday prior to the primary or election in which such elector wishes to vote by submitting the change of address in writing. The board of registrars shall then correct the elector's record to reflect the change of address and place the elector in the proper precinct and voting districts. The board of registrars may accept a properly submitted application for an absentee ballot for this purpose for electors who move to an address within the county or municipality which is different from the address contained on the person's registration card. The board of registrars may also accept a properly submitted application for an absentee ballot to correct an elector's name on the voter registration list if all necessary information to complete such a change is included with the application.

(d) In the event that an elector moves to a residence within the county or municipality but into a different precinct or who moves to a residence in the same precinct but at a different address and fails to notify the board of registrars of such fact by the fifth Monday prior to an election or primary such elector shall vote in the precinct of such elector's former residence for such election or primary and for any runoffs resulting therefrom. The superintendent of an election shall make available at each polling place forms furnished by the Secretary of State which shall be completed by each such elector to reflect such elector's present legal residence. Such forms may also be used to notify the board of registrars of a change in an elector's name. The board of registrars shall thereafter place the elector in the proper precinct and voting districts and correct the list of electors accordingly. If the elector is placed in a precinct other than the one in which such elector has previously been voting, such elector shall be notified of the new polling place by first-class mail.

(e) Any provision of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, an elector who moves from one county or municipality to another after the fifth Monday prior to a primary or election may vote in the county or municipality or precinct in which such elector is registered to vote.

(f) No person shall vote in any county or municipality other than the county or municipality of such person's residence except as provided in subsection (e) of this Code section.

(g) In the event that the registration records incorrectly indicate that an elector has moved from an address within a precinct, the elector may vote in the precinct upon affirming in writing on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State that the elector still resides in the precinct at the address previously provided to the board of registrars. The registrars shall correct the elector's registration record to reflect the correct address.

(h) If a voter registration application is completed at a polling place for the purpose of recording a change of address and the new address is outside the county, then the registrar shall forward the application to the registrar in the new county of residence.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-218, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 230, § 7; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 13/SB 92.

 

§ 21-2-219. Registration cards; form; registration by members of armed forces or merchant marine and permanent overseas citizen; Secretary of State to provide information regarding registration and absentee ballot procedures; reports regarding absentee ballots

(a) The registration cards for use by persons in making application to register to vote shall be in a form as specified by the Secretary of State, which shall include printed forms, forms made available through electronic means, or otherwise. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section and Code Section 21-2-221.2, only registration cards issued or authorized for use by the Secretary of State or the national voter registration card promulgated under the provisions of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973gg-7, shall be accepted for purposes of voter registration.

(b) A person who is a legal resident of this state and a citizen of the United States; who is a member of the armed forces of the United States or the merchant marine, is a spouse or dependent of a member of the armed forces or the merchant marine residing with or accompanying said member, or is temporarily or permanently residing overseas; and who will be absent from such person's county of residence until after the time for registering for an ensuing primary or election may make proper application for voter registration on the official post card or write-in absentee ballot provided for by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended.

(c) Permanent overseas citizens shall only be authorized to vote for presidential electors and United States senator or representative in Congress. Permanent overseas citizens shall be deemed to be residents of the precinct in which the county courthouse is located.

(d) A properly executed registration card submitted under the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be considered to be an application for an absentee ballot under Code Section 21-2-381 or a special absentee ballot under Code Section 21-2-381.1, as appropriate.

(e) A person who is a United States citizen, permanently residing overseas, who has never lived in the United States, may register and vote in this state in the county of residence of either of such person's parents under the limitations of subsection (c) of this Code section if either of the person's parents is registered to vote in this state. Such person shall be deemed to reside at the same location as the parent for voting purposes.

(f) The office of the Secretary of State is designated as the office, under the federal Help America Vote Act, to be responsible for providing information on registration and absentee ballot procedures for use by absent uniformed services and overseas voters, including the use of the federal write-in absentee ballot.

(g) The registrars of each county shall report to the Secretary of State within 60 days after a general election in which federal candidates were on the ballot the combined number of absentee ballots transmitted to absent uniformed services and overseas voters in such election and the combined number of such ballots that were returned by such voters and cast in such election.

(h) The Secretary of State shall within 90 days after a general election in which federal candidates were on the ballot report to the federal Election Assistance Commission, on such form as may be prescribed by such commission, the combined number of absentee ballots transmitted to absent uniformed services and overseas voters in such election and the combined number of such ballots that were returned by such voters and cast in such election.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-219, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 240, § 15; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 17; Ga. L. 2010, p. 569, § 1/HB 1073; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 8/HB 540; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 14/SB 92.

 

§ 21-2-222. Designated voter registration agencies and offices; definitions; duties of agencies and offices

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Persons with disabilities" means persons who have physical disabilities, including, but not limited to, any physical or neurological impairment which severely restricts a person's mobility or manual dexterity; substantial loss of speech, sight, or hearing; or loss of one or more limbs or use thereof; but such term shall not include nonphysical disabilities, mental or emotional disabilities, or disabilities based upon substance abuse.

(2) "Public assistance" means the food stamp program; the Medicaid program; the Women, Infants, and Children program; and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

(3) "Recruitment office of the armed forces of the United States" includes both regular and reserve forces recruitment offices and national guard recruitment offices.

(b) Each office in this state:

(1) Which provides public assistance;

(2) Which provides state funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities; and

(3) Which is a recruitment office of the armed forces of the United States located within this state

shall be designated voter registration agencies.

 

(c) In addition to the offices listed in subsection (b) of this Code section, the Secretary of State shall designate other offices within the state as designated voter registration offices. Such offices may include, but not be limited to:

(1) State or local governmental offices such as public libraries, public schools, offices of county and municipal clerks, and government revenue offices; and

(2) Federal and nongovernmental offices, with the agreement of such offices.

(d) At each designated voter registration agency, the following services shall be made available:

(1) Distribution of the mail voter registration application provided for in Code Section 21-2-223 in accordance with subsection (f) of this Code section;

(2) Assistance to applicants in completing voter registration application forms, unless the applicant refuses such assistance; and

(3) Acceptance of completed voter registration application forms for submission to the Secretary of State.

(e) If a designated voter registration agency under paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of this Code section provides services to a person with a disability at the person's home, the agency shall provide the services described in subsection (d) of this Code section at such person's home.

(f) A designated voter registration agency that provides service or assistance in addition to conducting voter registration shall:

(1) Distribute with each application for such service or assistance and with each recertification, renewal, or change of address form relating to such service or assistance, when such application, recertification, renewal, or change of address is made in person, the mail voter registration application form provided for in Code Section 21-2-223 unless the applicant declines in writing to register to vote;

(2) Distribute a form provided by the Secretary of State to accompany the voter registration application form which includes:

(A) The question "If you are not registered to vote where you live now, would you like to apply to register to vote here today?";

(B) If the agency provides public assistance, the statement "Applying to register or declining to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency.";

(C) Boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant is presently registered, would like to register, or declines to register to vote with the statement "IF YOU DO NOT CHECK ANY BOX, YOU WILL BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE DECIDED NOT TO REGISTER TO VOTE AT THIS TIME." in close proximity to the boxes and in prominent type;

(D) The statements "If you would like help in filling out the voter registration application form, we will help you. The decision whether to seek or accept help is yours. You may fill out the application in private."; and

(E) The statement "If you believe that someone has interfered with your right to register or to decline to register to vote or your right to privacy in deciding whether to register or in applying to register to vote, you may file a complaint with the Secretary of State at (insert address and telephone number)."; and

(3) Provide to each applicant who does not decline to apply to register to vote the same degree of assistance with regard to the completion of the voter registration application form as is provided by the office with regard to the completion of its own forms, unless the applicant refuses such assistance.

(g) If an applicant fails to check any box on the form required by subparagraph (f)(2)(C) of this Code section, the applicant shall be deemed to have declined to apply to register to vote.

(h) No information relating to a declination to apply to register to vote in connection with an application made at an office described in subsection (f) of this Code section may be used for any purpose other than voter registration and shall not be subject to public inspection.

(i) Each office shall transmit the completed voter registration application forms to the Secretary of State at least once per week, except that, during the 15 days leading up to a registration deadline for a primary or election, such applications shall be transmitted to the Secretary of State at the conclusion of each business day. The Secretary of State shall forward the applications to the appropriate county board of registrars to determine the eligibility of the applicant and, if found eligible, to add the applicant's name to the list of electors and to place the applicant in the correct precinct and voting districts.

(j) Each office shall maintain such statistical records on the number of registrations and declinations as requested by the Secretary of State.

(k) Persons providing the services described in subsection (d) of this Code section shall not:

(1) Seek to influence an applicant's political preference;

(2) Display any such political preference or political party or body allegiance;

(3) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from applying to register to vote; or

(4) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant to believe that a decision to apply to register or not to apply to register to vote has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits.

(l) The Secretary of State shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to provide for the transmission of voter registration applications and signatures electronically from public assistance offices, offices which provide state funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities, and recruitment offices of the armed forces of the United States located within this state. Such electronically transmitted signatures shall be valid as signatures on the voter registration application and shall be treated in all respects as a manually written original signature and shall be recognized as such in any matter concerning the voter registration application.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-222, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1995, p. 8, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 1021, § 7; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 240, § 17; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 19.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-223. Mail voter registration application forms

(a) The Secretary of State shall design, publish, and distribute voter registration application forms with which a person may apply to register to vote by completing and mailing the form to the Secretary of State or to the board of registrars of the person's county of residence. The Secretary of State shall forward the applications that he or she receives to the appropriate county board of registrars to determine the eligibility of the applicant and, if found eligible, to add the applicant's name to the list of electors and to place the applicant in the correct precinct and voting districts.

(b) The county boards of registrars shall obtain and maintain a supply of mail voter registration application forms for distribution and for voter registration. In addition, each state, county, and municipal office, except an office which is a designated voter registration office under Code Section 21-2-222, which has regular contact with the public shall obtain a supply of mail voter registration application forms from the Secretary of State and make such applications available for use by citizens to register to vote.

(c) The mail voter registration application forms shall be made available through governmental and private entities with particular emphasis on making such forms available for organized voter registration programs.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-223, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 9/HB 540.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-224. Registration deadlines; restrictions on voting in primaries; official list of electors; voting procedure when portion of county changed from one county to another

(a) If any person whose name is not on the list of registered electors maintained by the Secretary of State under this article desires to vote at any general primary, general election, or presidential preference primary, such person shall make application as provided in this article by the close of business on the fifth Monday or, if such Monday is a legal holiday, by the close of business on the following business day prior to the date of such general primary, general election, or presidential preference primary.

(b) If any person whose name is not on the list of registered electors maintained by the Secretary of State under this article desires to vote at any special primary or special election, such person shall make application as provided in this article no later than either the close of business on the fifth day after the date of the call for the special primary or special election, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays of this state or the close of business on the fifth Monday prior to the date of the special primary or special election or, if such Monday is a legal holiday, by the close of business on the following business day, whichever is later; except that:

(1) If such special primary or special election is held in conjunction with a general primary, general election, or presidential preference primary, the registration deadline for such special primary or special election shall be the same as the registration deadline for the general primary, general election, or presidential preference primary in conjunction with which the special primary or special election is being conducted; or

(2) If such special primary or special election is not held in conjunction with a general primary, general election, or presidential preference primary but is held on one of the dates specified in Code Section 21-2-540 for the conduct of special elections to present a question to the voters or special primaries or elections to fill vacancies in elected county or municipal offices, the registration deadline for such a special primary or election shall be at the close of business on the fifth Monday prior to the date of the special primary or election or, if such Monday is a legal holiday, by the close of business on the following business day.

(c) Mail voter registration applications shall be deemed to have been made as of the date of the postmark affixed to such application by the United States Postal Service or, if no such postmark is affixed or if the postmark affixed by the United States Postal Service is illegible or bears no date, such application shall be deemed to have been made timely if received through the United States mail by the Secretary of State no later than the close of business on the fourth Friday prior to a general primary, general election, presidential preference primary, or special primary or special election held in conjunction with a general primary, general election, or presidential preference primary or special primary or special election held on one of the dates specified in Code Section 21-2-540 for the conduct of special elections to present questions to the voters or special primaries or special elections to fill vacancies in elected county or municipal offices or no later than the close of business on the ninth day after the date of the call, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays of this state, for all other special primaries and special elections.

(c.1) An individual or organization shall promptly transmit all completed voter registration applications to the Secretary of State or the appropriate board of registrars within ten days after receiving such application or by the close of registration, whichever period is earlier. If an individual or organization receives a completed voter registration application 14 or fewer days before the close of registration, the individual or organization shall transmit the application to the Secretary of State or the appropriate board of registrars within 72 hours of the date of the execution of the application or by midnight on the close of registration, whichever period is earlier.

(d) Each elector who makes timely application for registration, is found eligible by the board of registrars and placed on the official list of electors, and is not subsequently found to be disqualified to vote shall be entitled to vote in any primary or election; provided, however, that an elector, voting in the primary or primaries held by a single party for the nomination of candidates to seek public offices to be filled in an election, shall not vote in a primary held by any other party for the nomination of candidates to seek public offices to be filled in the same such election.

(e) The county board of registrars shall deliver to the municipality, upon a basis mutually agreed upon between the county board of registrars and the governing authority of the municipality, a copy of the list of electors for the municipality for the primary or election. Such list shall be delivered not earlier than the fifth Monday prior to a primary or election and not later than 21 days prior to such primary or election for the purpose of permitting the municipality to check the accuracy of the list. The municipality shall, upon receipt of the county registration list, or as soon as practicable thereafter but in no event later than five days prior to such primary or election, review such list and identify in writing to the county board of registrars any names on the electors list of persons who are not qualified to vote at such primary or election, stating the reason for disqualification. The county board of registrars shall challenge the persons identified in accordance with Code Section 21-2-228. In addition, the county board of registrars shall provide a list of inactive electors for the municipality. The municipality shall certify such lists and file with the city clerk a copy showing the names of electors entitled to vote at such primary or election.

(f) The official list of electors eligible to vote in any primary or election shall be prepared and completed at least five calendar days prior to the date of the primary or election in which the list is to be used.

(g) The official list of electors and the official list of inactive electors prepared and distributed to the poll officers of each precinct shall include only the elector's name, address, ZIP Code, date of birth, voter identification number, a designation of whether the elector registered for the first time in this state and is required to comply with Code Section 21-2-216, a designation of whether the elector registered for the first time in this state by mail and is required to comply with Code Sections 21-2-220 and 21-2-417, congressional district, state Senate district, state House district, county commission district, if any, county or independent board of education district, if any, and municipal governing authority district designations, if any, and such other voting districts, if any. The official list of electors and the official list of inactive electors prepared and distributed to the poll officers of each precinct may also include codes designating that an elector has voted by absentee ballot, has been challenged, or has been sent mail by the registrars which has been returned marked undeliverable. No person whose name does not appear on the official list of electors shall vote or be allowed to vote at any election, except as otherwise provided in this article. The county registrars shall ensure that the information required to notify poll officers that an elector registered to vote for the first time in this state by mail and must comply with subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-220 and subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-417 is placed on each list of electors to be used at a polling place.

(h) All persons whose names appear on the list of electors placed in the possession of the managers in each precinct and no others, except as otherwise provided in this article, shall be allowed to deposit their ballots according to law at the precinct in which they are registered.

(i) When any portion of a county or municipality is changed from one county or municipality to another, the persons who would have been qualified to vote in the county or municipality from which taken, at the time of any primary or election, shall vote in the county or municipality to which they are removed; and, if required to swear or certify, the oath or certification may be so qualified as to contain this fact. The name of such elector shall be kept and checked as provided in Code Section 21-2-228.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-224, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1995, p. 8, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1027, § 5; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1044, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 145, § 7; Ga. L. 1997, p. 590, § 21; Ga. L. 1998, p. 145, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 151, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 20; Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 25/HB 244; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 10/HB 540; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 17/SB 92; Ga. L. 2017, p. 697, § 9/HB 268.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

§ 21-2-231. Lists of persons convicted of felonies, noncitizens, mentally incompetent, and deceased persons provided to Secretary of State and Council of Superior Court Clerks; removal of names from list of electors; obtain information about deceased; timing; list of inactive voters provided to Council of Superior Court Clerks

(a) Unless otherwise notified by the Secretary of State, the Georgia Crime Information Center shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, prepare and transmit to the Secretary of State and The Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia a complete list of all persons, including dates of birth, social security numbers, and other information as prescribed by the Secretary of State or The Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia, who were convicted of a felony in this state since the preceding reporting period. The Secretary of State or The Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia may, by agreement with the commissioner of corrections and the commissioner of community supervision, obtain criminal information relating to the conviction, sentencing, and completion of sentencing requirements of felonies. Additionally, the Secretary of State and The Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia shall be authorized to obtain such criminal information relating to Georgia electors convicted of a felony in another state, if such information is available.

(a.1) The clerk of the superior court of each county shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, prepare and transmit to the Secretary of State, in a format prescribed by the Secretary of State, a complete list of all persons, including addresses, ages, and other identifying information as prescribed by the Secretary of State, who identify themselves as not being citizens of the United States during their qualification to serve as a juror during the preceding calendar month in that county.

(b) The judge of the probate court of each county shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, prepare and transmit to the Secretary of State, in a format prescribed by the Secretary of State, a complete list of all persons, including addresses, ages, and other identifying information as prescribed by the Secretary of State, who were declared mentally incompetent during the preceding calendar month in the county and whose voting rights were removed.

(c)

(1) Upon receipt of the lists described in subsections (a.1) and (b) of this Code section, the Secretary of State shall transmit the names of such persons whose names appear on the list of electors to the appropriate county board of registrars who shall remove all such names from the list of electors and shall mail a notice of such action and the reason therefor to the last known address of such persons by first-class mail.

(2) Upon receipt of the list described in subsection (a) of this Code section and the lists of persons convicted of felonies in federal courts received pursuant to 52 U.S.C. Section 20507(g), the Secretary of State shall transmit the names of such persons whose names appear on the lists of electors to the appropriate county board of registrars who shall mail a notice to the last known address of each such person by first-class mail, stating that the board of registrars has received information that such person has been convicted of a felony and will be removed from the list of electors 30 days after the date of the notice unless such person requests a hearing before the board of registrars on such removal.

(d) Unless otherwise notified by the Secretary of State, the local registrar of vital statistics of each county shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, prepare and transmit to the Secretary of State, in a format prescribed by the Secretary of State, a complete list of all persons, including addresses, ages, and other identifying information as prescribed by the Secretary of State, who died during the preceding calendar month in the county. The Secretary of State may, by agreement with the commissioner of public health, obtain such information from the state registrar of vital statistics. Additionally, the Secretary of State is authorized to obtain such lists of deceased Georgia electors, if possible, from other states.

(e) Upon receipt of the lists described in subsection (d) of this Code section, the Secretary of State or his or her designated agent shall remove all such names of deceased persons from the list of electors and shall notify the registrar in the county where the deceased person was domiciled at the time of his or her death.

(e.1) County registrars may obtain information about persons who died from obituaries published by local newspapers, death certificates, verifiable knowledge of the death, and information provided in writing and signed by a family member or members of the deceased person. County registrars shall determine if such deceased person's name appears on the list of electors and, if so, shall remove such name from the list of electors and shall send by first class mail to the mailing address shown on the elector's voter registration records a notice of such action and the reason therefor.

(f) County registrars shall initiate appropriate action regarding the right of an elector to remain on the list of qualified registered voters within 60 days after receipt of the information described in this Code section. Failure to take such action may subject the registrars or the county governing authority for whom the registrars are acting to a fine by the State Election Board.

(g) The Secretary of State shall provide to The Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia not later than the last day of each month all information enumerated in subsections (b) through (d) of this Code section and Code Section 21-2-232 and a list of voters who have failed to vote and inactive voters, as identified pursuant to Code Sections 21-2-234 and 21-2-235. Such data shall only be used by the council, the council's vendors, superior court clerks, and jury clerks for maintenance of state-wide master jury lists and county master jury lists. Such data shall be provided to the council or its vendors in the electronic format required by the council for such purposes.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-231, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1996, p. 145, § 9; Ga. L. 1997, p. 590, § 26; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1231, §§ 7, 31; Ga. L. 1999, p. 52, § 10; Ga. L. 2001, p. 269, § 14; Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 28/HB 244; Ga. L. 2008, p. 781, § 9/HB 1112; Ga. L. 2009, p. 327, § 1/HB 549; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 1-6/HB 228; Ga. L. 2011, p. 59, § 1-65/HB 415; Ga. L. 2011, p. 705, § 6-5/HB 214; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 19/SB 92; Ga. L. 2014, p. 451, § 9/HB 776; Ga. L. 2015, p. 422, § 5-52/HB 310; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 9/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-232. Removal of elector's name from list of electors

(a) An elector may request to have such elector's name removed from the list of electors by making a written request to the registrars of such elector's county of residence. Upon receipt of such request, the registrars shall remove such elector's name from the list of electors and shall confirm such removal by written notice by first-class mail sent to the address on the elector's registration records.

(b)

(1) When an elector of this state moves to another state and registers to vote and the registration officials in such state send a notice of cancellation reflecting the registration of the elector in the other state, which includes a copy of such elector's voter registration application bearing the elector's signature, the Secretary of State or the board of registrars, as the case may be, shall remove such elector's name from the list of electors. It shall not be necessary to send a confirmation notice to the elector in such circumstances.

(2) When an elector of this state moves to another state and the registration officials in such other state or a nongovernmental entity as described in subsection (d) of Code Section 21-2-225 sends a notice of cancellation or other information indicating that the elector has moved to such state but such notice or information does not include a copy of such elector's voter registration application in such other state bearing the elector's signature, the Secretary of State or the board of registrars, as the case may be, shall send a confirmation notice to the elector as provided in Code Section 21-2-234.

(3) Once becoming a member of the nongovernmental entity described in subsection (d) of Code Section 21-2-225, the Secretary of State shall obtain regular information from such entity regarding electors who may have moved to another state, died, or otherwise become ineligible to vote in Georgia. The Secretary of State shall use such information to conduct list maintenance on the list of eligible electors.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-232, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 10/HB 316; Ga. L. 2021, p. 14, § 17/SB 202.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-233. Comparison of change of address information supplied by United States Postal Service with electors list; removal from list of electors; notice to electors

(a) The Secretary of State is authorized to cause at his or her discretion the official list of electors to be compared to the change of address information supplied by the United States Postal Service through its licensees periodically for the purpose of identifying those electors whose addresses have changed.

(b) If it appears from the change of address information supplied by the licensees of the United States Postal Service that an elector whose name appears on the official list of electors has moved to a different address in the county in which the elector is presently registered, the list of electors shall be changed to reflect the new address and the elector shall be sent a notice of the change by forwardable mail at the elector's old address with a postage prepaid, preaddressed return form by which the elector may verify or correct the address information. The registrars may also send a notice of the change by forwardable mail to the elector's new address with a postage prepaid, preaddressed return form by which the elector may verify or correct the address information.

(c) If it appears from the change of address information supplied by the licensees of the United States Postal Service that an elector whose name appears on the official list of electors has moved to a different address outside of the boundaries of the county or municipality in which the elector is presently registered, such elector shall be sent a confirmation notice as provided in Code Section 21-2-234 at the old address of the elector. The registrars may also send a confirmation notice to the elector's new address. If the elector confirms the change of address to an address outside of the State of Georgia, the elector's name shall be removed from the appropriate list of electors. If the elector confirms the change of address to an address outside of the boundaries of the county or municipality in which the elector is presently registered, but still within the State of Georgia, the elector's registration shall be transferred to the new county or municipality. The Secretary of State or the registrars shall forward the confirmation card to the registrars of the county in which the elector's new address is located and the registrars of the county of the new address shall update the voter registration list to reflect the change of address. If the elector responds to the notice and affirms that the elector has not moved, the elector shall remain on the list of electors at the elector's current address. If the elector fails to respond to the notice within 30 days after the date of the notice, the elector shall be transferred to the inactive list provided for in Code Section 21-2-235.

(d) Whenever an elector's name is removed from the list of electors by the county registrars because the elector has furnished in writing to the registrar a residence address that is located outside of the State of Georgia, the registrars shall notify the elector in writing at the elector's new address that the elector's name is being deleted from the list of electors.

(e) Nothing in this Code section shall prevent the removal from the list of electors of an elector for ineligibility to vote.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-233, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1996, p. 145, § 10; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 240, § 19; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 23; Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 29/HB 244; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 20/SB 92; Ga. L. 2017, p. 697, § 11/HB 268.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-234. Electors who have failed to vote and with whom there has been no contact in three years; confirmation notice requirements and procedure; time for completion of list maintenance activities

(a)

(1) As used in this Code section and Code Section 21-2-235, the term "no contact" shall mean that the elector has not filed an updated voter registration card, has not filed a change of name or address, has not signed a petition which is required by law to be verified by the election superintendent of a county or municipality or the Secretary of State, has not signed a voter's certificate, has not submitted an absentee ballot application or voted an absentee ballot, and has not confirmed the elector's continuation at the same address during the preceding five calendar years.

(2) In the first six months of each odd-numbered year, the Secretary of State shall identify all electors whose names appear on the list of electors with whom there has been no contact during the preceding five calendar years and who were not identified as changing addresses under Code Section 21-2-233. The confirmation notice described in this Code section shall be sent to each such elector during each odd-numbered year. Such notices shall be sent by forwardable, first-class mail.

(b) When mailings to electors whose names appear on the list of electors, including, but not limited to, acknowledgments under Code Section 21-2-226, are returned undeliverable by the United States Postal Service, the confirmation notice described in this Code section shall be sent to such electors.

(c) The confirmation notice shall be a postage prepaid, preaddressed return card on which an elector may state such elector's current address and which also includes a notice which states substantially the following:

(1) If the elector has not changed addresses or has changed addresses within the county or municipality in which the elector is currently registered, the elector must return the card with the updated information, if any, within 30 days after the date of the notice; and

(2) If the card is not returned within 30 days after the date of the notice, the elector's name shall be transferred to the inactive list of electors provided for in Code Section 21-2-235.

(d) If the elector returns the card and shows that he or she has changed residence to a place outside of the State of Georgia, the elector's name shall be removed from the appropriate list of electors. If the elector confirms his or her change of address to an address outside of the boundaries of the county or municipality in which the elector is currently registered, but still within the State of Georgia, the elector's registration shall be transferred to the new county or municipality. The Secretary of State or the registrars shall forward the confirmation card to the registrars of the county in which the elector's new address is located, and the registrars of the county of the new address shall update the voter registration list to reflect the change of address.

(e) If the elector returns the card and states that the elector has changed residences within the county or municipality in which the elector is currently registered, the elector shall remain on the list of electors, the registration records shall be corrected to reflect such new address, and a new voter identification card shall be issued pursuant to Code Section 21-2-226.

(f) If such elector returns the card and confirms that such elector continues to reside at the current address at which such elector is registered, the fact of such confirmation shall be recorded and the elector shall remain on the list of electors.

(g) If the elector fails to return the card within 30 days after the date of the notice, the elector shall be transferred to the inactive list provided for in Code Section 21-2-235.

(h) Nothing in this Code section shall prevent the removal from the list of electors of an elector for ineligibility to vote.

(i) List maintenance activities pursuant to this Code section and Code Section 21-2-233 shall be completed not later than 90 days prior to a general primary or general election for federal offices or a presidential preference primary. This subsection shall not apply to notices sent pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-234, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1995, p. 8, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 649, § 2; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2017, p. 697, § 12/HB 268; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 11/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-235. Inactive list of electors

(a) In addition to the official list of electors, the Secretary of State shall also maintain an inactive list of electors. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the names of electors on the inactive list of electors shall not be counted in computing the number of ballots required for an election, the number of voting devices needed for a precinct, the number of electors required to divide or constitute a precinct, or the number of signatures needed on any petition. However, any elector whose name appears on the inactive list shall be eligible to sign a petition and such petition signature, if valid and regardless of the validity of the petition as a whole, shall be sufficient to return the elector to the official list of electors if the elector still resides at the address listed on the elector's registration records and shall be grounds to proceed under Code Section 21-2-234 to confirm the change of address of the elector if the elector provides a different address from the address which appears on the elector's registration records.

(b) An elector placed on the inactive list of electors shall remain on such list until the day after the second November general election held after the elector is placed on the inactive list of electors. If the elector makes no contact, as defined in Code Section 21-2-234, during that period, the elector shall be removed from the inactive list of electors. Not less than 30 nor more than 60 days prior to the date on which the elector is to be removed from the inactive list of electors, the board of registrars shall mail a notice to the address on the elector's registration record.

(c) An elector whose name is on the inactive list of electors may vote:

(1) If the elector has not changed residences, at the polling place of such elector's last address upon affirming in writing that such elector still resides at the address shown on such elector's registration records;

(2) If the elector has moved to an address within the county in the same precinct, such elector may vote at the polling place of such elector's last address upon affirming in writing that such elector resides in the county by completing a change of address card affirming the new address within the county; or

(3) If the elector has moved to an address within the county or municipality in a different precinct, such elector may vote at the polling place of such elector's last address, for that election and any runoffs resulting from such election only, upon affirming in writing that such elector still resides in the county or municipality and completing a change of address card affirming the new address within the county or municipality.

(d) If an elector whose name appears on the inactive list of electors appears at the polls and votes as provided under subsection (c) of this Code section, the board of registrars shall transfer the elector's name back to the official list of electors and shall make any necessary corrections in the elector's registration records.

(e) In addition to the official list of electors provided to each polling place, there shall also be provided an inactive list of electors.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-235, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1995, p. 8, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 649, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 24; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 13/HB 540; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 12/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

§ 21-2-310. Definitions

As used in this article, the term:

(1) "Candidate counters" or "question counters" means the counters which numerically register the votes cast for candidates and on questions, respectively.

(2) "Diagram" means an illustration of the official ballot showing the names of the parties, bodies, offices, and candidates and statements of the questions, in their proper places, together with the voting devices therefor.

(3) "Protective counter" means a counter or protective device or devices that will register each time the machine is operated and shall be constructed and so connected that it cannot be reset, altered, or operated except by operating the machine.

(4) "Public counter" means a counter or other device which shall, at all times, publicly indicate how many times the machine has been voted on during an election.

(5) "Registering counter" shall not include a protective counter.

(6) "Vote indicator" means those devices with which votes are indicated for candidates or for or against questions.

§ 21-2-380. "Absentee elector" defined; when reason for absentee ballot not required

(a) As used in this article, the term "absentee elector" means an elector of this state or a municipality thereof who casts a ballot in a primary, election, or runoff other than in person at the polls on the day of such primary, election, or runoff.

(b) An elector who votes by absentee ballot shall not be required to provide a reason in order to cast an absentee ballot in any primary, election, or runoff.

History

Code 1933, § 34-1401, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 871, § 15; Ga. L. 1969, p. 329, § 17a; Ga. L. 1971, Ex. Sess., p. 61, § 9; Ga. L. 1979, p. 955, § 7; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1512, § 5; Ga. L. 1984, p. 1, § 8; Ga. L. 1987, p. 465, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1084, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 417, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 35; Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 50/HB 244; Ga. L. 2008, p. 448, § 1/SB 387; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 17/HB 540.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

§ 21-2-381. Making of application for absentee ballot; determination of eligibility by ballot clerk; furnishing of applications to colleges and universities; persons entitled to make application

(a) (1) (A) Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 21-2-219 or for advance voting described in subsection (d) of Code Section 21-2-385, not earlier than 78 days or less than 11 days prior to the date of the primary or election, or runoff of either, in which the elector desires to vote, any absentee elector may make, either by mail, by facsimile transmission, by electronic transmission, or in person in the registrar's or absentee ballot clerk's office, an application for an official ballot of the elector's precinct to be voted at such primary, election, or runoff. To be timely received, an application for an absentee-by-mail ballot shall be received by the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk no later than 11 days prior to the primary, election, or runoff. For advance voting in person, the application shall be made within the time period set forth in subsection (d) of Code Section 21-2-385.

(B) In the case of an elector residing temporarily out of the county or municipality or a physically disabled elector residing within the county or municipality, the application for the elector's absentee ballot may, upon satisfactory proof of relationship, be made by such elector's mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, spouse, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law of the age of 18 or over.

(C)

(i) Any person applying for an absentee-by-mail ballot shall make application in writing on the form made available by the Secretary of State. In order to confirm the identity of the voter, such form shall require the elector to provide his or her name, date of birth, address as registered, address where the elector wishes the ballot to be mailed, and the number of his or her Georgia driver's license or identification card issued pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 40. If such elector does not have a Georgia driver's license or identification card issued pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 40, the elector shall affirm this fact in the manner prescribed in the application and the elector shall provide a copy of a form of identification listed in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-417. The form made available by the Secretary of State shall include a space to affix a photocopy or electronic image of such identification. The Secretary of State shall develop a method to allow secure electronic transmission of such form. The application shall also include the identity of the primary, election, or runoff in which the elector wishes to vote; the name and relationship of the person requesting the ballot if other than the elector; and an oath for the elector or relative to write his or her usual signature with a pen and ink affirming that the elector is a qualified Georgia elector and the facts presented on the application are true. Submitting false information on an application for an absentee ballot shall be a violation of Code Sections 21-2-560 and 21-2-571.

(ii) A blank application for an absentee ballot shall be made available online by the Secretary of State and each election superintendent and registrar, but neither the Secretary of State, election superintendent, board of registrars, other governmental entity, nor employee or agent thereof shall send absentee ballot applications directly to any elector except upon request of such elector or a relative authorized to request an absentee ballot for such elector. No person or entity other than a relative authorized to request an absentee ballot for such elector or a person signing as assisting an illiterate or physically disabled elector shall send any elector an absentee ballot application that is prefilled with the elector's required information set forth in this subparagraph. No person or entity other than the elector, a relative authorized to request an absentee ballot for such elector, a person signing as assisting an illiterate or physically disabled elector with his or her application, a common carrier charged with returning the ballot application, an absentee ballot clerk, a registrar, or a law enforcement officer in the course of an investigation shall handle or return an elector's completed absentee ballot application. Handling a completed absentee ballot application by any person or entity other than as allowed in this subsection shall be a misdemeanor. Any application for an absentee ballot sent to any elector by any person or entity shall utilize the form of the application made available by the Secretary of State and shall clearly and prominently disclose on the face of the form:

"This is NOT an official government publication and was NOT provided to you by any governmental entity and this is NOT a ballot. It is being distributed by [insert name and address of person, organization, or other entity distributing such document or material]."

(iii) The disclaimer required by division (ii) of this subparagraph shall be:

(I) Of sufficient font size to be clearly readable by the recipient of the communication;

(II) Be contained in a printed box set apart from the other contents of the communication; and

(III) Be printed with a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the printed disclaimer.

(D) Except in the case of physically disabled electors residing in the county or municipality or electors in custody in a jail or other detention facility in the county or municipality, no absentee ballot shall be mailed to an address other than the permanent mailing address of the elector as recorded on the elector's voter registration record or a temporary out-of-county or out-of-municipality address. Upon request, electors held in jails or other detention facilities who are eligible to vote shall be granted access to the necessary personal effects for the purpose of applying for and voting an absentee ballot pursuant to this chapter.

(E) Relatives applying for absentee ballots for electors must also sign an oath stating that facts in the application are true.

(F) If the elector is unable to fill out or sign such elector's own application because of illiteracy or physical disability, the elector shall make such elector's mark, and the person filling in the rest of the application shall sign such person's name below it as a witness.

(G) Any elector meeting criteria of advance age or disability specified by rule or regulation of the State Election Board or any elector who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, may request in writing on one application a ballot for a presidential preference primary held pursuant to Article 5 of this chapter and for a primary as well as for any runoffs resulting therefrom and for the election for which such primary shall nominate candidates as well as any runoffs resulting therefrom. If not so requested by such person, a separate and distinct application shall be required for each primary, run-off primary, election, and run-off election. Except as otherwise provided in this subparagraph, a separate and distinct application for an absentee ballot shall always be required for any special election or special primary.

(2) A properly executed registration card submitted under the provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-219, if submitted within 180 days of a primary or election in which the registrant is entitled to vote, shall be considered to be an application for an absentee ballot under this Code section, or for a special absentee ballot under Code Section 21-2-381.1, as appropriate.

(3) (A) All persons or entities, other than the Secretary of State, election superintendents, boards of registrars, and absentee ballot clerks, that send applications for absentee ballots to electors in a primary, election, or runoff shall mail such applications only to individuals who have not already requested, received, or voted an absentee ballot in the primary, election, or runoff. Any such person or entity shall compare its mail distribution list with the most recent information available about which electors have requested, been issued, or voted an absentee ballot in the primary, election, or runoff and shall remove the names of such electors from its mail distribution list. A person or entity shall not be liable for any violation of this subparagraph if such person or entity relied upon information made available by the Secretary of State within five business days prior to the date such applications are mailed.

(B) A person or entity in violation of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall be subject to sanctions by the State Election Board which, in addition to all other possible sanctions, may include requiring such person or entity to pay restitution to each affected county or municipality in an amount up to $100.00 per duplicate absentee ballot application that is processed by the county or municipality due to such violation or the actual cost incurred by each affected county or municipality for the processing of such duplicate absentee ballot applications.

(4) In extraordinary circumstances as described in Code Section 21-2-543.1, the registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall determine if the applicants are eligible to vote under this Code section and shall either mail or issue the absentee ballots for the election for representative in the United States Congress to an individual entitled to make application for absentee ballot under subsection (d) of this Code section the same day any such application is received, so long as the application is received by 3:00 P.M., otherwise no later than the next business day following receipt of the application. Any valid absentee ballot shall be accepted and processed so long as the ballot is received by the registrar or absentee ballot clerk not later than 45 days after the ballot is transmitted to the absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter, but in no event later than 11 days following the date of the election.

(b)

(1) Upon receipt of a timely application for an absentee ballot, a registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall enter thereon the date received. The registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall verify the identity of the applicant and determine, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, if the applicant is eligible to vote in the primary or election involved. In order to verify the identity of the applicant, the registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall compare the applicant's name, date of birth, and number of his or her Georgia driver's license or identification card issued pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 40 on the application with the information on file in the registrar's office. If the application does not contain the number of the applicant's Georgia driver's license or identification card issued pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 40, the registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall verify that the identification provided with the application identifies the applicant. In order to be found eligible to vote an absentee ballot in person at the registrar's office or absentee ballot clerk's office, such person shall show one of the forms of identification listed in Code Section 21-2-417 and the registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall compare the identifying information on the application with the information on file in the registrar's office.

(2) If found eligible, the registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall certify by signing in the proper place on the application and then:

(A) Shall mail the ballot as provided in this Code section;

(B) If the application is made in person, shall issue the ballot to the elector within the confines of the registrar's or absentee ballot clerk's office as required by Code Section 21-2-383 if the ballot is issued during the advance voting period established pursuant to subsection (d) of Code Section 21-2-385; or

(C) May deliver the ballot in person to the elector if such elector is confined to a hospital.

(3) If found ineligible or if the application is not timely received, the clerk or the board of registrars shall deny the application by writing the reason for rejection in the proper space on the application and shall promptly notify the applicant in writing of the ground of ineligibility, a copy of which notification should be retained on file in the office of the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk for at least one year. However, an absentee ballot application shall not be rejected solely due to a mismatch between the identifying information of the elector on the application and the identifying information of the elector on file with the board of registrars. In such cases, the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall send the elector a provisional absentee ballot with the designation "Provisional Ballot" on the outer oath envelope and information prepared by the Secretary of State as to the process to be followed to cure the discrepancy. If such ballot is returned to the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk prior to the closing of the polls on the day of the primary or election, the elector may cure the discrepancy by submitting an affidavit to the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk along with a copy of one of the forms of identification enumerated in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-417 before the close of the period for verifying provisional ballots contained in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-419. If the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk finds the affidavit and identification to be sufficient, the absentee ballot shall be counted as other absentee ballots. If the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk finds the affidavit and identification to be insufficient, then the procedure contained in Code Section 21-2-386 shall be followed for rejected absentee ballots.

(4) If the registrar or clerk is unable to determine the identity of the elector from information given on the application or if the application is not complete or if the oath on the application is not signed, the registrar or clerk should promptly contact the elector in writing to request the necessary additional information and a signed copy of the oath.

(5) In the case of an unregistered applicant who is eligible to register to vote, the clerk or the board shall immediately mail a blank registration card as provided by Code Section 21-2-223, and such applicant, if otherwise qualified, shall be deemed eligible to vote by absentee ballot in such primary or election, if the registration card, properly completed, is returned to the clerk or the board on or before the last day for registering to vote in such primary or election.

(c) In those counties or municipalities in which the absentee ballot clerk or board of registrars provides application forms for absentee ballots, the clerk or board shall provide such quantity of the application form to the dean of each college or university located in that county as said dean determines necessary for the students of such college or university.

(d) (1) A citizen of the United States permanently residing outside the United States is entitled to make application for an absentee ballot from Georgia and to vote by absentee ballot in any election for presidential electors and United States senator or representative in Congress:

(A) If such citizen was last domiciled in Georgia immediately before his or her departure from the United States; and

(B) If such citizen could have met all qualifications, except any qualification relating to minimum voting age, to vote in federal elections even though, while residing outside the United States, he or she does not have a place of abode or other address in Georgia.

(2) An individual is entitled to make application for an absentee ballot under paragraph (1) of this subsection even if such individual's intent to return to Georgia may be uncertain, as long as:

(A) He or she has complied with all applicable Georgia qualifications and requirements which are consistent with 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff concerning absentee registration for and voting by absentee ballots;

(B) He or she does not maintain a domicile, is not registered to vote, and is not voting in any other state or election district of a state or territory or in any territory or possession of the United States; and

(C) He or she has a valid passport or card of identity and registration issued under the authority of the Secretary of State of the United States or, in lieu thereof, an alternative form of identification consistent with 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff and applicable state requirements, if a citizen does not possess a valid passport or card of identity and registration.

(e) The State Election Board is authorized to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations for the implementation of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section. Said rules and regulations may include provisions for the limitation of opportunities for fraudulent application, including, but not limited to, comparison of voter registration records with death certificates.

History

Ga. L. 1924, p. 186, §§ 3, 6; Code 1933, §§ 34-3302, 34-3305; Ga. L. 1943, p. 228, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 204, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1955, p. 732, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1957, p. 39, § 1; Code 1933, § 34-1402, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 329, §§ 18-20; Ga. L. 1974, p. 71, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1977, p. 550, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1004, § 31; Ga. L. 1979, p. 633, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1718, § 7; Ga. L. 1983, p. 140, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 1, § 11; Ga. L. 1985, p. 632, § 3; Ga. L. 1986, p. 32, § 1; Ga. L. 1986, p. 932, § 5; Ga. L. 1987, p. 417, § 4; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1360, § 14; Ga. L. 1988, p. 641, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 849, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1742, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 143, § 3; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1815, § 2; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1406, § 22; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 4; Ga. L. 1995, p. 8, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 649, § 4; Ga. L. 1997, p. 662, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 145, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 52, § 11; Ga. L. 2001, p. 230, § 13; Ga. L. 2001, p. 240, § 33; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 36; Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 51/HB 244; Ga. L. 2006, p. 69, § 1/SB 467; Ga. L. 2008, p. 448, §§ 2, 3/SB 387; Ga. L. 2008, p. 781, § 10/HB 1112; Ga. L. 2009, p. 41, § 1/SB 47; Ga. L. 2010, p. 569, § 2/HB 1073; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 18/HB 540; Ga. L. 2011, p. 683, § 10/SB 82; Ga. L. 2011, p. 697, § 1/HB 92; Ga. L. 2017, p. 697, § 16/HB 268; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 27/HB 316; Ga. L. 2021, p. 14, § 25/SB 202.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 
§ 21-2-381.1. Procedures for voting with special write-in absentee ballots by qualified absentee electors

(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, a qualified absentee elector, as defined in Code Section 21-2-380, in general, special, primary, and run-off elections, who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, and who makes timely application for but does not receive an official absentee ballot may vote by completing, signing, and mailing a federal write-in absentee ballot promulgated under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended.

(b)

(1) Any elector who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, when voting a federal write-in absentee ballot for a federal general, special, or run-off election, may designate a candidate by writing in the name of the candidate or by writing in a party preference for each office. A written designation of the political party shall be counted as a vote for the candidate of that party.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, an elector who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, may vote in any election for a public office other than for a federal office by using the addendum provided in the federal write-in absentee ballot and writing in the title of the office and the name of the candidate for whom the elector is voting. In a general, special, or run-off election, the elector may alternatively designate a candidate by writing in a party preference for each office, the names of specific candidates for each office, or the name of the person who the elector prefers for each office. A written designation of the political party shall be counted as a vote for the candidate of that party. In addition, such elector may vote on any constitutional amendment or question presented to the electors in such election by identifying the constitutional amendment or question with regard to which such elector desires to vote and specifying the elector's vote on such amendment or question.

(3) If the elector is voting in a primary or primary runoff, the elector shall identify the political party for which the elector has requested a ballot in the appropriate section of the federal write-in absentee ballot. A vote cast by writing in the name of a candidate who is not affiliated with the identified political party ballot is void and shall not be counted.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, a federal write-in absentee ballot shall be submitted and processed in the same manner as provided for official absentee ballots. A federal write-in absentee ballot of any elector who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, shall not be counted:

(1) In the case of a ballot submitted by an overseas elector who is not an absent uniformed services elector, if the ballot is submitted from any location in the United States;

(2) If the application of an elector who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, for an absentee ballot is received by the appropriate board of registrars after two days prior to a general, special, primary, or run-off election; or

(3) If an official absentee ballot of an elector who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, is received by the appropriate board of registrars not later than the deadline for receipt of absentee ballots under subparagraph (a)(1)(G) of Code Section 21-2-386.

(d) The following rules shall apply with respect to federal write-in absentee ballots:

(1) In completing the ballot, an elector who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, may designate a candidate by writing in the name of the candidate or by writing in the name of a political party, in which case the ballot shall be counted for the candidate of that political party;

(2) In the case of the offices of President and Vice President, a vote for a named candidate or a vote by writing in the name of a political party shall be counted as a vote for the electors supporting the candidate involved; and

(3) Any abbreviation, misspelling, or other minor variation in the form of the name of the candidate or a political party shall be disregarded in determining the validity of the ballot, if the intention of the elector can be ascertained.

(e) Any elector who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, who submits a federal write-in absentee ballot and later receives an official absentee ballot, may submit the official absentee ballot. An elector who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, who submits a federal write-in absentee ballot and later receives and submits an official absentee ballot should make every reasonable effort to inform the appropriate board of registrars that the elector has submitted more than one ballot.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-381.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1984, p. 1, § 12; Ga. L. 1986, p. 772, § 5; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1360, § 15; Ga. L. 1997, p. 590, § 31; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2010, p. 569, § 3/HB 1073; Ga. L. 2011, p. 683, § 11/SB 82.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-381.2. State write-in absentee ballot for certain electors

(a) The Secretary of State shall design a state write-in absentee ballot for federal offices and state offices that are voted upon on a state-wide basis for use in a primary runoff or election runoff by an eligible absentee elector who lives outside the county or municipality in which the election is held and who is:

(1) A member of the armed forces of the United States, a member of the merchant marine of the United States, a member of the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or a spouse or dependent of such member residing with or accompanying said member; or

(2) A citizen of the United States residing outside the United States.

(b) Such state write-in absentee ballot shall be automatically included with any absentee ballot sent to such eligible absentee electors for any general primary or general election. No special request for such state write-in absentee ballot shall be required.

(c) The state write-in absentee ballot shall contain instructions for completing and returning such ballot.

(d) The Secretary of State shall establish a website which such eligible absentee electors may access to determine if there is a primary runoff or election runoff for a federal office or a state office that is voted upon on a state-wide basis. The address of such website shall be included in the instructions for voting such state write-in absentee ballot.

(e) The State Election Board may provide by rule or regulation for additional means of transmitting the state write-in absentee ballot to eligible absentee electors including, but not limited to, the use of facsimile transmissions and portable document format electronic versions.

(f) The registrars shall send a regular absentee ballot to such eligible absentee electors in accordance with Code Section 21-2-381. In the event that both the regular absentee ballot and the state write-in absentee ballot are received by the registrars within the time period for receiving absentee ballots, the regular absentee ballot shall be counted and the state write-in absentee ballot shall be kept unopened in the same manner as absentee ballots that are returned too late to be counted. Ballots for primary runoffs and election runoffs that are postmarked by the date of the primary runoff or election runoff, if proper in all other respects, shall be counted if received by the registrars within the three-day period following such primary runoff or election runoff.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-381.2, enacted by Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 52/HB 244; Ga. L. 2006, p. 69, § 1/SB 467.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-383. Preparation and delivery of ballots; form of ballots; casting ballot in person using DRE unit; casting ballot in person or as absentee using electronic ballot markers

(a) Ballots for use by absentee electors shall be prepared sufficiently in advance by the superintendent and shall be delivered to the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk as provided in Code Section 21-2-384. Such ballots shall be marked "Official Absentee Ballot" and shall be in substantially the form for ballots required by Article 8 of this chapter, except that in counties using voting machines or direct recording electronic (DRE) units the ballots may be in substantially the form for the ballot labels required by Article 9 of this chapter. Every such ballot shall have printed with other instructions thereon the following:

"I understand that the offer or acceptance of money or any other object of value to vote for any particular candidate, list of candidates, issue, or list of issues included in this election constitutes an act of voter fraud and is a felony under Georgia law."

The form for either ballot shall be determined and prescribed by the Secretary of State, except in municipal primaries or elections, in which the form of absentee ballots which follows the paper ballot format shall be determined and prescribed by the superintendent.

 

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code section, in jurisdictions in which direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems are used at the polling places on election day, such direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems shall be used for casting absentee ballots in person at a registrar's or absentee ballot clerk's office or in accordance with Code Section 21-2-382, providing for additional sites.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code section to the contrary, in jurisdictions in which electronic ballot markers are used in the polling places on election day, such electronic ballot markers shall be used for casting absentee ballots in person at a registrar's or absentee ballot clerk's office or in accordance with Code Section 21-2-382, providing for additional sites.

History

Code 1933, § 34-1403, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 871, § 15a; Ga. L. 1969, p. 329, § 21; Ga. L. 1997, p. 649, § 5; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1231, §§ 15, 38; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 37; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 20/HB 540; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 29/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-385. Procedure for voting by absentee ballot; advance voting

(a) At any time after receiving an official absentee ballot, but before the day of the primary or election, except electors who are confined to a hospital on the day of the primary or election, the elector shall vote his or her absentee ballot, then fold the ballot and enclose and securely seal the same in the envelope on which is printed "Official Absentee Ballot." This envelope shall then be placed in the second one, on which is printed the form of the oath of the elector; the name and oath of the person assisting, if any; and other required identifying information. The elector shall then fill out, subscribe, and swear to the oath printed on such envelope. In order to verify that the absentee ballot was voted by the elector who requested the ballot, the elector shall print the number of his or her Georgia driver's license number or identification card issued pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 40 in the space provided on the outer oath envelope. The elector shall also print his or her date of birth in the space provided in the outer oath envelope. If the elector does not have a Georgia driver's license or state identification card issued pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 40, the elector shall so affirm in the space provided on the outer oath envelope and print the last four digits of his or her social security number in the space provided on the outer oath envelope. If the elector does not have a Georgia driver's license, identification card issued pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 40, or a social security number, the elector shall so affirm in the space provided on the outer oath envelope and place a copy of one of the forms of identification set forth in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-417 in the outer envelope. Such envelope shall then be securely sealed and the elector shall then personally mail or personally deliver same to the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk, provided that mailing or delivery may be made by the elector's mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, spouse, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, or an individual residing in the household of such elector. The absentee ballot of a disabled elector may be mailed or delivered by the caregiver of such disabled elector, regardless of whether such caregiver resides in such disabled elector's household. The absentee ballot of an elector who is in custody in a jail or other detention facility may be mailed or delivered by any employee of such jail or facility having custody of such elector. An elector who is confined to a hospital on a primary or election day to whom an absentee ballot is delivered by the registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall then and there vote the ballot, seal it properly, and return it to the registrar or absentee ballot clerk. If the elector registered to vote for the first time in this state by mail and has not previously provided the identification required by Code Section 21-2-220 and votes for the first time by absentee ballot and fails to provide the identification required by Code Section 21-2-220 with such absentee ballot, such absentee ballot shall be treated as a provisional ballot and shall be counted only if the registrars are able to verify the identification and registration of the elector during the time provided pursuant to Code Section 21-2-419.

(b) A physically disabled or illiterate elector may receive assistance in preparing his or her ballot from any person of the elector's choice other than such elector's employer or the agent of such employer or an officer or agent of such elector's union; provided, however, that no person whose name appears on the ballot as a candidate at a particular primary, election, or runoff nor the mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, spouse, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law of such candidate shall offer assistance during such primary, election, or runoff under the provisions of this Code section to any elector who is not related to such candidate. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "related to such candidate" shall mean such candidate's mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, spouse, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law. The person rendering assistance to the elector in preparing the ballot shall sign the oath printed on the same envelope as the oath to be signed by the elector. Any person who willfully violates this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or to pay a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both, for each such violation.

(c) When an elector applies in person for an absentee ballot, after the absentee ballots have been printed, the absentee ballot may be issued to the elector at the time of the application therefor within the confines of the registrar's or absentee ballot clerk's office if such application is made during the advance voting period as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section or may be mailed to the elector, depending upon the elector's request. If the ballot is issued to the elector at the time of application, the elector shall then and there within the confines of the registrar's or absentee ballot clerk's office vote and return the absentee ballot as provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section. In the case of persons voting in accordance with subsection (d) of this Code section, the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall furnish accommodations to the elector to ensure the privacy of the elector while voting his or her absentee ballot.

(d) (1) There shall be a period of advance voting that shall commence:

(A) On the fourth Monday immediately prior to each primary or election; and

(B) As soon as possible prior to a runoff from any general primary or election but no later than the second Monday immediately prior to such runoff

and shall end on the Friday immediately prior to each primary, election, or runoff. Voting shall be conducted beginning at 9:00 A.M. and ending at 5:00 P.M. on weekdays, other than observed state holidays, during such period and shall be conducted on the second and third Saturdays during the hours of 9:00 A.M. through 5:00 P.M. and, if the registrar or absentee ballot clerk so chooses, the second Sunday, the third Sunday, or both the second and third Sundays prior to a primary or election during hours determined by the registrar or absentee ballot clerk, but no longer than 7:00 A.M. through 7:00 P.M.; provided, however, that, if such second Saturday is a public and legal holiday pursuant to Code Section 1-4-1, if such second Saturday follows a public and legal holiday occurring on the Thursday or Friday immediately preceding such second Saturday, or if such second Saturday immediately precedes a public and legal holiday occurring on the following Sunday or Monday, such advance voting shall not be held on such second Saturday but shall be held on the third Saturday prior to such primary or election beginning at 9:00 A.M. and ending at 5:00 P.M. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the registrars may extend the hours for voting to permit advance voting from 7:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. and may provide for additional voting locations pursuant to Code Section 21-2-382 to suit the needs of the electors of the jurisdiction at their option; provided, however, that voting shall occur only on the days specified in this paragraph and counties and municipalities shall not be authorized to conduct advance voting on any other days.

 (2) The registrars or absentee ballot clerk, as appropriate, shall provide reasonable notice to the electors of their jurisdiction of the availability of advance voting as well as the times, dates, and locations at which advance voting will be conducted. In addition, the registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall notify the Secretary of State in the manner prescribed by the Secretary of State of the times, dates, and locations at which advance voting will be conducted.

(3) The board of registrars shall publish the dates, times, and locations of the availability of advance voting in its jurisdiction on the homepage of the county's publicly accessible website associated with elections or registrations, or if the county does not have such a website, in a newspaper of general circulation, and by posting in a prominent location in the county, no later than 14 days prior to the beginning of the advance voting period for a general primary, special primary, general election, or special election and no later than seven days prior to the beginning of the advance voting period for any run-off election. Any new advance voting locations added after that deadline shall be published in the same manner as soon as possible. The board of registrars shall not remove any advance voting location after the notice of such location is published, except in the case of an emergency or unavoidable event that renders a location unavailable for use. Any changes that are made due to an emergency or unavoidable event after a notice of a location has been published shall be published as soon as possible in the same manner set forth in this paragraph.

(e) On each day of an absentee voting period, each county board of registrars or municipal absentee ballot clerk shall report for the county or municipality to the Secretary of State and post on the county or municipal website, or if the county or municipality does not maintain such a website, a place of public prominence in the county or municipality, not later than 10:00 A.M. on each business day the number of persons to whom absentee ballots have been issued, the number of persons who have returned absentee ballots, and the number of absentee ballots that have been rejected. Additionally, on each day of an advance voting period, each county board of registrars or municipal absentee ballot clerk shall report to the Secretary of State and post on the county or municipal website, or if the county or municipality does not maintain such a website, a place of public prominence in the county or municipality, not later than 10:00 A.M. on each business day the number of persons who have voted at the advance voting sites in the county or municipality. During the absentee voting period and for a period of three days following a primary, election, or runoff, each county board of registrars or municipal absentee ballot clerk shall report to the Secretary of State and post on the county or municipal website, or if the county or municipality does not maintain such a website, a place of public prominence in the county or municipality, not later than 10:00 A.M. on each business day the number of persons who have voted provisional ballots, the number of provisional ballots that have verified or cured and accepted for counting, and the number of provisional ballots that have been rejected.

History

Ga. L. 1924, p. 186, § 4; Code 1933, § 34-3303; Ga. L. 1953, Jan.-Feb. Sess., p. 579, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 204, § 3; Ga. L. 1955, p. 732, § 3; Ga. L. 1956, p. 682, §§ 3, 4; Code 1933, § 34-1406, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1965, p. 119, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 871, § 16; Ga. L. 1969, p. 329, § 22; Ga. L. 1974, p. 71, §§ 6-8; Ga. L. 1977, p. 683, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 1256, § 4; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1718, § 8; Ga. L. 1983, p. 140, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 496, § 14; Ga. L. 1986, p. 32, § 1; Ga. L. 1986, p. 932, § 6; Ga. L. 1988, p. 641, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1742, § 2; Ga. L. 1990, p. 143, § 5; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2510, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 39; Ga. L. 2006, p. 888, § 4/HB 1435; Ga. L. 2007, p. 536, § 2/SB 40; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 21/HB 540; Ga. L. 2011, p. 697, § 3/HB 92; Ga. L. 2014, p. 1, § 6/HB 310; Ga. L. 2016, p. 173, § 4/SB 199; Ga. L. 2017, p. 697, § 18/HB 268; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 31/HB 316; Ga. L. 2021, p. 14, § 28/SB 202.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 
§ 21-2-385.1. Preferential treatment for older and disabled voters
 
During the period of advance voting established pursuant to subsection (d) of Code Section 21-2-385, each elector who is 75 years of age or older or who is disabled and requires assistance in casting an absentee ballot in person at the registrar's office, absentee ballot clerk's office, or other locations as provided for in Code Section 21-2-382 shall, upon request to a designated office employee or other individual, be authorized to vote immediately at the next available voting compartment or booth without having to wait in line if such location utilizes direct recording electronic voting systems or be authorized to go to the head of any line necessary to cast a written absentee ballot. Notice of the provisions of this Code section shall be prominently displayed in the registrar's office or absentee ballot clerk's office.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-385.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 1157, § 1/HB 993; Ga. L. 2011, p. 697, § 4/HB 92.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 
§ 21-2-386. Safekeeping, certification, and validation of absentee ballots; rejection of ballot; delivery of ballots to location designated by superintendent; duties of superintendent and managers; precinct returns; report of returns of verified and accepted absentee ballots cast as soon as possible following closing of polls; notification of challenged elector; unlawful disclosure of tabulation results

(a) (1) (A) The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall keep safely, unopened, and stored in a manner that will prevent tampering and unauthorized access all official absentee ballots received from absentee electors prior to the closing of the polls on the day of the primary or election except as otherwise provided in this subsection.

(B) Upon receipt of each ballot, a registrar or clerk shall write the day and hour of the receipt of the ballot on its envelope. The registrar or clerk shall then compare the number of the elector's Georgia driver's license number or state identification card issued pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 40 and date of birth entered on the absentee ballot envelope with the same information contained in the elector's voter registration records. If the elector has affirmed on the envelope that he or she does not have a Georgia driver's license or state identification card issued pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 40, the registrar or clerk shall compare the last four digits of the elector's social security number and date of birth entered on the envelope with the same information contained in the elector's voter registration records. The registrar or clerk shall also confirm that the elector signed the oath and the person assisting the elector, if any, signed the required oath. If the elector has signed the elector's oath, the person assisting has signed the required oath, if applicable, and the identifying information entered on the absentee ballot envelope matches the same information contained in the elector's voter registration record, the registrar or clerk shall so certify by signing or initialing his or her name below the voter's oath. Each elector's name so certified shall be listed by the registrar or clerk on the numbered list of absentee voters prepared for his or her precinct.

(C) If the elector has failed to sign the oath, or if the identifying information entered on the absentee ballot envelope does not match the same information appearing in the elector's voter registration record, or if the elector has failed to furnish required information or information so furnished does not conform with that on file in the registrar's or clerk's office, or if the elector is otherwise found disqualified to vote, the registrar or clerk shall write across the face of the envelope "Rejected," giving the reason therefor. The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall promptly notify the elector of such rejection, a copy of which notification shall be retained in the files of the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk for at least two years. Such elector shall have until the end of the period for verifying provisional ballots contained in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-419 to cure the problem resulting in the rejection of the ballot. The elector may cure a failure to sign the oath, nonmatching identifying information, or missing information by submitting an affidavit to the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk along with a copy of one of the forms of identification enumerated in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-417 before the close of such period. The affidavit shall affirm that the ballot was submitted by the elector, is the elector's ballot, and that the elector is registered and qualified to vote in the primary, election, or runoff in question. If the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk finds the affidavit and identification to be sufficient, the absentee ballot shall be counted.

(D) An elector who registered to vote by mail, but did not comply with subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-220, and who votes for the first time in this state by absentee ballot shall include with his or her application for an absentee ballot or in the outer oath envelope of his or her absentee ballot either one of the forms of identification listed in subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-417 or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of such elector. If such elector does not provide any of the forms of identification listed in this subparagraph with his or her application for an absentee ballot or with the absentee ballot, such absentee ballot shall be deemed to be a provisional ballot and such ballot shall only be counted if the registrars are able to verify current and valid identification of the elector as provided in this subparagraph within the time period for verifying provisional ballots pursuant to Code Section 21-2-419. The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall promptly notify the elector that such ballot is deemed a provisional ballot and shall provide information on the types of identification needed and how and when such identification is to be submitted to the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk to verify the ballot.

(E) Three copies of the numbered list of voters shall also be prepared for such rejected absentee electors, giving the name of the elector and the reason for the rejection in each case. Three copies of the numbered list of certified absentee voters and three copies of the numbered list of rejected absentee voters for each precinct shall be turned over to the poll manager in charge of counting the absentee ballots and shall be distributed as required by law for numbered lists of voters.

(F) All absentee ballots returned to the board or absentee ballot clerk after the closing of the polls on the day of the primary or election shall be safely kept unopened by the board or absentee ballot clerk and then transferred to the appropriate clerk for storage for the period of time required for the preservation of ballots used at the primary or election and shall then, without being opened, be destroyed in like manner as the used ballots of the primary or election. The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall promptly notify the elector by first-class mail that the elector's ballot was returned too late to be counted and that the elector will not receive credit for voting in the primary or election. All such late absentee ballots shall be delivered to the appropriate clerk and stored as provided in Code Section 21-2-390.

(G) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, until the United States Department of Defense notifies the Secretary of State that the Department of Defense has implemented a system of expedited absentee voting for those electors covered by this subparagraph, absentee ballots cast in a primary, election, or runoff by eligible absentee electors who reside outside the county or municipality in which the primary, election, or runoff is held and are members of the armed forces of the United States, members of the merchant marine of the United States, spouses or dependents of members of the armed forces or merchant marine residing with or accompanying such members, or overseas citizens that are postmarked by the date of such primary, election, or runoff and are received within the three-day period following such primary, election, or runoff, if proper in all other respects, shall be valid ballots and shall be counted and included in the certified election results.

(2) (A) Beginning at 8:00 A.M. on the third Monday prior to the day of the primary, election, or runoff, the election superintendent shall be authorized to open the outer oath envelope of absentee ballots that have been verified and accepted pursuant to subparagraph (a)(1)(B) of this Code section, remove the contents of such outer envelope, open the inner envelope marked "Official Absentee Ballot," and scan the absentee ballot using one or more ballot scanners. At least three persons who are registrars, deputy registrars, poll workers, or absentee ballot clerks must be present before commencing; and three persons who are registrars, deputy registrars, or absentee ballot clerks shall be present at all times while the absentee ballot envelopes are being opened and the absentee ballots are being scanned. However, no person shall tally, tabulate, estimate, or attempt to tally, tabulate, or estimate or cause the ballot scanner or any other equipment to produce any tally or tabulate, partial or otherwise, of the absentee ballots cast until the time for the closing of the polls on the day of the primary, election, or runoff except as provided in this Code section. Prior to beginning the process set forth in this paragraph, the superintendent shall provide written notice to the Secretary of State in writing at least seven days prior to processing and scanning absentee ballots. Such notice shall contain the dates, start and end times, and location or locations where absentee ballots will be processed and scanned. The superintendent shall also post such notice publicly in a prominent location in the superintendent's office and on the home page of the county election superintendent's website, if the county election superintendent maintains such a website. The Secretary of State shall publish on his or her website the information he or she receives from superintendents stating the dates, times, and locations where absentee ballots will be processed.

(B) The proceedings set forth in this paragraph shall be open to the view of the public, but no person except one employed and designated by the superintendent shall touch any ballot or ballot container. Any person involved in processing and scanning absentee ballots shall swear an oath, in the same form as the oath for poll officers provided in Code Section 21-2-95, prior to beginning the processing and scanning of absentee ballots. The county executive committee or, if there is no organized county executive committee, the state executive committee of each political party and political body having candidates whose names appear on the ballot for such election shall have the right to designate two persons and each independent and nonpartisan candidate whose name appears on the ballot for such election shall have the right to designate one person to act as monitors for such process. In the event that the only issue to be voted upon in an election is a referendum question, the superintendent shall also notify in writing the chief judge of the superior court of the county who shall appoint two electors of the county to monitor such process. While viewing or monitoring the process set forth in this paragraph, monitors and observers shall be prohibited from:

(i) In any way interfering with the processing or scanning of absentee ballots or the conduct of the election;

(ii) Using or bringing into the room any photographic or other electronic monitoring or recording devices, cellular telephones, or computers;

(iii) Engaging in any form of campaigning or campaign activity;

(iv) Taking any action that endangers the secrecy and security of the ballots;

(v) Touching any ballot or ballot container;

(vi) Tallying, tabulating, estimating, or attempting to tally, tabulate, or estimate, whether partial or otherwise, any of the votes on the absentee ballots cast; and

(vii) Communicating any information that they see while monitoring the processing and scanning of the absentee ballots, whether intentionally or inadvertently, about any ballot, vote, or selection to anyone other than an election official who needs such information to lawfully carry out his or her official duties.

(C) The State Election Board shall promulgate rules requiring reconciliation procedures; prompt and undelayed scanning of ballots after absentee ballot envelopes are opened; secrecy of election results prior to the closing of the polls on the day of a primary, election, or runoff; and other protections to protect the integrity of the process set forth in this paragraph.

(3) A county election superintendent may, in his or her discretion, after 7:00 A.M. on the day of the primary, election, or runoff begin tabulating the absentee ballots. If the county election superintendent chooses to open the inner envelopes and begin tabulating such ballots prior to the close of the polls on the day of the primary, election, or runoff, the superintendent shall notify in writing, at least seven days prior to the primary, election, or runoff, the Secretary of State of the superintendent's intent to begin the absentee ballot tabulation prior to the close of the polls. The county executive committee or, if there is no organized county executive committee, the state executive committee of each political party and political body having candidates whose names appear on the ballot for such election in such county shall have the right to designate two persons and each independent and nonpartisan candidate whose name appears on the ballot for such election in such county shall have the right to designate one person to act as monitors for such process. In the event that the only issue to be voted upon in an election is a referendum question, the superintendent shall also notify in writing the chief judge of the superior court of the county who shall appoint two electors of the county to monitor such process.

(4) The county election superintendent shall publish a written notice in the superintendent's office of the superintendent's intent to begin the absentee ballot tabulation prior to the close of the polls and publish such notice at least one week prior to the primary, election, or runoff in the legal organ of the county.

(5) The process for opening absentee ballot envelopes, scanning absentee ballots, and tabulating absentee ballots on the day of a primary, election, or runoff as provided in this subsection shall be conducted in a manner to maintain the secrecy of all ballots and to protect the disclosure of any balloting information before 7:00 P.M. on election day. No absentee ballots shall be tabulated before 7:00 A.M. on the day of a primary, election, or runoff.

(6) All persons conducting the tabulation of absentee ballots during the day of a primary, election, or runoff, including the vote review panel required by Code Section 21-2-483, and all monitors and observers shall be sequestered until the time for the closing of the polls. All such persons shall have no contact with the news media; shall have no contact with other persons not involved in monitoring, observing, or conducting the tabulation; shall not use any type of communication device including radios, telephones, and cellular telephones; shall not utilize computers for the purpose of email, instant messaging, or other forms of communication; and shall not communicate any information concerning the tabulation until the time for the closing of the polls; provided, however, that supervisory and technical assistance personnel shall be permitted to enter and leave the area in which the tabulation is being conducted but shall not communicate any information concerning the tabulation to anyone other than the county election superintendent; the staff of the superintendent; those persons conducting, observing, or monitoring the tabulation; and those persons whose technical assistance is needed for the tabulation process to operate.

(7) The absentee ballots shall be tabulated in accordance with the procedures of this chapter for the tabulation of absentee ballots. As such ballots are tabulated, they shall be placed into locked ballot boxes and may be transferred to locked ballot bags, if needed, for security. The persons conducting the tabulation of the absentee ballots shall not cause the tabulating equipment to produce any count, partial or otherwise, of the absentee votes cast until the time for the closing of the polls except as otherwise provided in this Code section.

(b) When requested by the superintendent, but not earlier than the third Monday prior to a primary, election, or runoff, a registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall deliver the official absentee ballot of each certified absentee elector, each rejected absentee ballot, applications for such ballots, and copies of the numbered lists of certified and rejected absentee electors to the location designated by the superintendent, and the superintendent or official receiving such absentee ballots shall issue his or her receipt therefor.

(c) The superintendent shall cause the verified and accepted absentee ballots to be opened and tabulated as provided in this Code section. A manager shall then open the outer envelope in such manner as not to destroy the oath printed thereon and shall deposit the inner envelope marked "Official Absentee Ballot" in a ballot box reserved for absentee ballots. In the event that an outer envelope is found to contain an absentee ballot that is not in an inner envelope, the ballot shall be sealed in an inner envelope, initialed and dated by the person sealing the inner envelope, and deposited in the ballot box and counted in the same manner as other absentee ballots, provided that such ballot is otherwise proper. Such manager with two assistant managers, appointed by the superintendent, with such clerks as the manager deems necessary shall count the absentee ballots following the procedures prescribed by this chapter for other ballots, insofar as practicable.

(d) All absentee ballots shall be counted and tabulated in such a manner that returns may be reported by precinct; and separate returns shall be made for each precinct in which absentee ballots were cast showing the results by each precinct in which the electors reside. The superintendent shall utilize the procedures set forth in this Code section to ensure that the returns of verified and accepted absentee ballots cast are reported to the public as soon as possible following the closing of the polls on the day of the primary, election, or runoff. Failure to utilize these procedures to ensure that the returns of verified and accepted absentee ballots are reported as soon as possible following the close of polls shall subject the superintendent to sanctions by the State Election Board. If a superintendent fails to report the returns of verified and accepted absentee ballots by the day following the election at 5:00 P.M., the State Election Board may convene an independent performance review board pursuant to Code Section 21-2-107.

(e) If an absentee elector's right to vote has been challenged for cause, a poll officer shall write "Challenged," the elector's name, and the alleged cause of challenge on the outer envelope and shall deposit the ballot in a secure, sealed ballot box; and it shall be counted as other challenged ballots are counted. Where direct recording electronic voting systems are used for absentee balloting and a challenge to an elector's right to vote is made prior to the time that the elector votes, the elector shall vote on a paper or optical scanning ballot and such ballot shall be handled as provided in this subsection. The board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk shall promptly notify the elector of such challenge.

(f) It shall be unlawful at any time prior to the close of the polls for any person to disclose or for any person to receive any information regarding the results of the tabulation of absentee ballots except as expressly provided by law.

History

Ga. L. 1924, p. 186, §§ 11, 12, 14; Code 1933, §§ 34-3311, 34-3312, 34-3314; Ga. L. 1955, p. 204, § 5; Code 1933, § 34-1407, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 280, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1974, p. 71, §§ 9-11; Ga. L. 1977, p. 725, § 2; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1004, § 32; Ga. L. 1979, p. 629, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1512, § 5; Ga. L. 1983, p. 140, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 143, § 6; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1, § 4; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1815, § 4; Ga. L. 1993, p. 118, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 590, § 32; Ga. L. 1997, p. 662, § 2; Ga. L. 1998, p. 145, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1231, §§ 16, 39; Ga. L. 1999, p. 29, § 2; Ga. L. 2001, p. 240, § 34; Ga. L. 2001, p. 269, § 21; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 40; Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 54/HB 244; Ga. L. 2006, p. 69, § 1/SB 467; Ga. L. 2007, p. 544, § 4/SB 194; Ga. L. 2008, p. 261, § 1/SB 456; Ga. L. 2008, p. 448, § 4/SB 387; Ga. L. 2009, p. 300, § 1/HB 86; Ga. L. 2011, p. 590, § 1/HB 143; Ga. L. 2011, p. 683, § 13/SB 82; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, §§ 27, 28/SB 92; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 32/HB 316; Ga. L. 2021, p. 14, § 29/SB 202.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 
§ 21-2-388. Cancellation of absentee ballots of electors who are present in election precinct during primaries and elections

When an absentee ballot which has been voted shall be returned to and received by the board of registrars, it shall be deemed to have been voted then and there; and no other ballot shall be issued to the same elector. If an elector has requested to vote by absentee ballot and has not received such absentee ballot, has such ballot in his or her possession, has not yet returned such ballot, or has returned such ballot but the registrars have not received such ballot, such elector may have the absentee ballot canceled and vote in person on the day of the primary, election, or runoff in one of the following ways:

(1) If the elector is in possession of the ballot, by surrendering the absentee ballot to the poll manager of the precinct in which the elector's name appears on the electors list and then being permitted to vote the regular ballot. The poll manager shall mark "Canceled" and the date and time across the face of the absentee ballot and shall initial same. The poll manager shall also make appropriate notations beside the name of the elector on the electors list. All such canceled absentee ballots shall be returned with other ballots to the superintendent; or

(2) If the elector has not received the ballot, has not yet returned the ballot, or if the elector has returned the ballot but the registrars have not received the ballot, by appearing in person before the managers of the elector's precinct, the registrars, or the absentee ballot clerk and requesting in writing that the envelope containing the elector's absentee ballot be marked "Canceled." After having satisfied themselves as to the identity of such elector and confirming that the elector's absentee ballot has not yet been received by the board of registrars, the registrars or the absentee ballot clerk shall grant the request and shall notify the managers of the elector's precinct as to such action so as to permit the elector to vote in person in that precinct. If the absentee ballot is in the mail, has not yet been returned, or its exact location is unknown, the registrar or the absentee ballot clerk shall write "Canceled" beside the elector's name on the master list of absentee voters and shall cancel the ballot itself as soon as it is received. If the location of the requested absentee ballot is known to the elector and it has not been surrendered to the poll manager, the elector shall destroy the absentee ballot after casting his or her vote in person. Canceled absentee ballots shall be disposed of in the same manner as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 21-2-386 for absentee ballots returned too late to be cast.

History

Code 1933, § 34-1409, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 71, § 12; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1718, § 9; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1512, § 5; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1406, § 23; Ga. L. 1997, p. 590, § 33; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2007, p. 544, § 5/SB 194; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 33/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

§ 21-5-7. Initiation of complaints

The commission shall not initiate any investigation or inquiry into any matter under its jurisdiction based upon the complaint of any person unless that person shall produce the same in writing and verify the same under oath to the best information, knowledge, and belief of such person, the falsification of which shall be punishable as false swearing under Code Section 16-10-71. The person against whom any complaint is made shall be furnished by hand delivery or statutory overnight delivery or mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the complaint by the commission within two business days of the commission's receipt of such complaint and prior to any other public dissemination of such complaint. Nothing in this Code section, however, shall be construed to limit or encumber the right of the commission to initiate on probable cause an investigation on its own cognizance as it deems necessary to fulfill its obligations under this chapter.

History

Code 1981, § 21-5-7, enacted by Ga. L. 1986, p. 957, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 297, § 6; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1619, § 6; Ga. L. 2005, p. 859, § 6/HB 48.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

§ 21-2-218. Cancellation of registration in former state or county; address changes and corrections

(a) Any person, who is registered to vote in another state and who moves such person's residence from that state to this state, shall, at the time of making application to register to vote in this state, provide such information as specified by the Secretary of State in order to notify such person's former voting jurisdiction of the person's application to register to vote in this state and to cancel such person's registration in the former place of residence.

(b) Any person, who is registered to vote in another county or municipality in this state and who moves such person's residence from that county or municipality to another county or municipality in this state, shall, at the time of making application to register to vote in that county or municipality, provide such information as specified by the Secretary of State in order to notify such person's former voting jurisdiction of the person's application to register to vote in the new place of residence and to cancel such person's registration in the former place of residence.

(c) In the event that an elector moves to a residence within the county or municipality and has a different address from the address contained on the person's registration card, it shall be the duty of such elector to notify the board of registrars of such fact by the fifth Monday prior to the primary or election in which such elector wishes to vote by submitting the change of address in writing. The board of registrars shall then correct the elector's record to reflect the change of address and place the elector in the proper precinct and voting districts. The board of registrars may accept a properly submitted application for an absentee ballot for this purpose for electors who move to an address within the county or municipality which is different from the address contained on the person's registration card. The board of registrars may also accept a properly submitted application for an absentee ballot to correct an elector's name on the voter registration list if all necessary information to complete such a change is included with the application.

(d) In the event that an elector moves to a residence within the county or municipality but into a different precinct or who moves to a residence in the same precinct but at a different address and fails to notify the board of registrars of such fact by the fifth Monday prior to an election or primary such elector shall vote in the precinct of such elector's former residence for such election or primary and for any runoffs resulting therefrom. The superintendent of an election shall make available at each polling place forms furnished by the Secretary of State which shall be completed by each such elector to reflect such elector's present legal residence. Such forms may also be used to notify the board of registrars of a change in an elector's name. The board of registrars shall thereafter place the elector in the proper precinct and voting districts and correct the list of electors accordingly. If the elector is placed in a precinct other than the one in which such elector has previously been voting, such elector shall be notified of the new polling place by first-class mail.

(e) Any provision of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, an elector who moves from one county or municipality to another after the fifth Monday prior to a primary or election may vote in the county or municipality or precinct in which such elector is registered to vote.

(f) No person shall vote in any county or municipality other than the county or municipality of such person's residence except as provided in subsection (e) of this Code section.

(g) In the event that the registration records incorrectly indicate that an elector has moved from an address within a precinct, the elector may vote in the precinct upon affirming in writing on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State that the elector still resides in the precinct at the address previously provided to the board of registrars. The registrars shall correct the elector's registration record to reflect the correct address.

(h) If a voter registration application is completed at a polling place for the purpose of recording a change of address and the new address is outside the county, then the registrar shall forward the application to the registrar in the new county of residence.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-218, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 230, § 7; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 13/SB 92.

§ 21-2-492. Computation and canvassing of returns; notice of place where returns will be computed and canvassed; blank forms for making statements of returns; swearing of assistants

The superintendent shall arrange for the computation and canvassing of the returns of votes cast at each primary and election at his or her office or at some other convenient public place at the county seat or municipality following the close of the polls on the day of such primary or election with accommodations for those present insofar as space permits. An interested candidate or his or her representative shall be permitted to keep or check his or her own computation of the votes cast in the several precincts as the returns from the same are read, as directed in this article. The superintendent shall give at least one week's notice prior to the primary or election by publishing same in a conspicuous place in the superintendent's office, of the place where he or she will commence and hold his or her sessions for the computation and canvassing of the returns; and he or she shall keep copies of such notice posted in his or her office during such period. The superintendent shall procure a sufficient number of blank forms of returns made out in the proper manner and headed as the nature of the primary or election may require, for making out full and fair statements of all votes which shall have been cast within the county or any precinct therein, according to the returns from the several precincts thereof, for any person voted for therein, or upon any question voted upon therein. The assistants of the superintendent in the computation and canvassing of the votes shall be first sworn by the superintendent to perform their duties impartially and not to read, write, count, or certify any return or vote in a false or fraudulent manner.

History

Code 1933, § 34-1503, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 292, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1512, § 5; Ga. L. 1983, p. 140, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 35/SB 92; Ga. L. 2021, p. 14, § 40/SB 202.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 
§ 21-2-493. Computation, canvassing, and tabulation of returns; investigation of discrepancies in vote counts; recount procedure; pilot program for posting of digital images of scanned paper ballots; certification of returns; change in returns

(a) The superintendent shall, after the close of the polls on the day of a primary or election, at his or her office or at some other convenient public place at the county seat or in the municipality, of which due notice shall have been given as provided by Code Section 21-2-492, publicly commence the computation and canvassing of the returns and continue until all absentee ballots received by the close of the polls, including those cast by advance voting, and all ballots cast on the day of the primary or election have been counted and tabulated and the results of such tabulation released to the public and, then, continuing with provisional ballots as provided in Code Sections 21-2-418 and 21-2-419 and those absentee ballots as provided in subparagraph (a)(1)(G) of Code Section 21-2-386 from day to day until completed. For this purpose, the superintendent may organize his or her assistants into sections, each of whom may simultaneously proceed with the computation and canvassing of the returns from various precincts of the county or municipality in the manner provided by this Code section. Upon the completion of such computation and canvassing, the superintendent shall tabulate the figures for the entire county or municipality and sign, announce, and attest the same, as required by this Code section.

(b) The superintendent, before computing the votes cast in any precinct, shall compare the registration figure with the certificates returned by the poll officers showing the number of persons who voted in each precinct or the number of ballots cast. If, upon consideration by the superintendent of the returns and certificates before him or her from any precinct, it shall appear that the total vote returned for any candidate or candidates for the same office or nomination or on any question exceeds the number of electors in such precinct or exceeds the total number of persons who voted in such precinct or the total number of ballots cast therein, such excess shall be deemed a discrepancy and palpable error and shall be investigated by the superintendent; and no votes shall be recorded from such precinct until an investigation shall be had. Such excess shall authorize the summoning of the poll officers to appear immediately with any primary or election papers in their possession. The superintendent shall then examine all the registration and primary or election documents whatever relating to such precinct in the presence of representatives of each party, body, and interested candidate. Such examination may, if the superintendent deems it necessary, include a recount or recanvass of the votes of that precinct and a report of the facts of the case to the district attorney where such action appears to be warranted.

(c) In precincts in which paper ballots have been used, the superintendent may require the production of the ballot box and the recount of the ballots contained in such ballot box, either generally or respecting the particular office, nomination, or question as to which the excess exists, in the discretion of the superintendent, and may require the correction of the returns in accordance with the result of such recount. If the ballot box is found to contain more ballots than there are electors registered in such precinct or more ballots than the number of voters who voted in such precinct at such primary or election, the superintendent may, in his or her discretion, exclude the poll of that precinct, either as to all offices, candidates, questions, or parties and bodies or as to any particular offices, candidates, questions, or parties and bodies, as to which such excess exists.

(d) In precincts in which voting machines have been used, the superintendent may require a recanvass of the votes recorded on the machines used in the precinct, as provided in Code Section 21-2-495.

(e) In precincts in which paper ballots have been used, the general returns made by the poll officers from the various precincts shall be read one after another in the usual order, slowly and audibly, by one of the assistants who shall, in each case of a return from a precinct in which ballots were used, read therefrom the number of ballots issued, spoiled, canceled, and cast, respectively, whereupon the assistant having charge of the records of the superintendent showing the number of ballots furnished for each precinct, including the number of stubs and unused ballots and spoiled and canceled ballots returned, shall publicly announce the number of the same respectively; and, unless it appears by such number or calculations therefrom that such records and such general return correspond, no further returns shall be read from the latter until all discrepancies are explained to the satisfaction of the superintendent.

(f) In precincts in which voting machines have been used, there shall be read from the general return the identifying number or other designation of each voting machine used and the numbers registered on the protective counter or device on each machine prior to the opening of the polls and immediately after the close of the same, whereupon the assistant having charge of the records of the superintendent showing the number registered on the protective counter or device of each voting machine prior to delivery at the polling place shall publicly announce the numbers so registered; and, unless it appears that such records and such general return correspond, no further returns shall be read from the latter until any and all discrepancies are explained to the satisfaction of the superintendent.

(g) In precincts in which paper ballots have been used, when the records agree with such returns regarding the number of ballots and the number of votes recorded for each candidate, such votes for each candidate shall be read by an assistant slowly, audibly, and in an orderly manner from the general return which has been returned unsealed; and the figures announced shall be compared by other assistants with the general return which has been returned sealed. The figures announced for all precincts shall be compared by one of the assistants with the tally papers from the respective precincts. If any discrepancies are discovered, the superintendent shall examine all of the return sheets, tally papers, and other papers in his or her possession relating to the same precinct. If the tally papers and sealed general return sheet agree, the unsealed general return shall be immediately corrected to conform thereto. In every other case the superintendent shall immediately cause the ballot box of the precinct to be opened and the vote therein to be recounted in the presence of interested candidates or their representatives; and, if the recount shall not be sufficient to correct the error, the superintendent may summon the poll officers to appear immediately with all election papers in their possession.

(h) In precincts in which voting machines have been used, when the records agree with the returns regarding the number registered on the voting machine, the votes recorded for each candidate shall be read by an assistant slowly, audibly, and in an orderly manner from the general return sheet which has been returned unsealed; and the figures announced shall be compared by other assistants with the duplicate return sheet which has been returned sealed. If the voting machine is of the type equipped with a mechanism for printing paper proof sheets, such general and duplicate return sheets shall also be compared with such proof sheets, which have been returned as aforesaid. If any discrepancies are discovered, the superintendent shall examine all of the return sheets, proof sheets, and other papers in his or her possession relating to the same precinct. Such proof sheets shall be deemed to be prima-facie evidence of the result of the primary or election and to be prima facie accurate; and, if the proper proof sheets, properly identified, shall be mutually consistent and if the general and duplicate returns or either of such returns from such precinct shall not correspond with such proof sheets, they shall be corrected so as to correspond with such proof sheets in the absence of allegation of specific fraud or error proved to the satisfaction of the superintendent.

(i) If any error or fraud is discovered, the superintendent shall compute and certify the votes justly, regardless of any fraudulent or erroneous returns presented to him or her, and shall report the facts to the appropriate district attorney for action.

(j) The superintendent shall see that the votes shown by each absentee ballot are added to the return received from the precinct of the elector casting such ballot.

(j.1) The Secretary of State shall create a pilot program for the posting of digital images of the scanned paper ballots created by the voting system.

(k) As the returns from each precinct are read, computed, and found to be correct or corrected as aforesaid, they shall be recorded on the blanks prepared for the purpose until all the returns from the various precincts which are entitled to be counted shall have been duly recorded; then they shall be added together, announced, and attested by the assistants who made and computed the entries respectively and shall be signed by the superintendent. The consolidated returns shall then be certified by the superintendent in the manner required by this chapter. Such returns shall be certified by the superintendent not later than 5:00 P.M. on the Monday following the date on which such election was held and such returns shall be immediately transmitted to the Secretary of State.

(l) In such case where the results of an election contest change the returns so certified, a corrected return shall be certified and filed by the superintendent which makes such corrections as the court orders.

History

Ga. L. 1943, p. 347, § 1; Code 1933, § 34-1504, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 292, § 1; Ga. L. 1970, p. 347, § 29; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1512, § 5; Ga. L. 1983, p. 140, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 34, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1, § 5; Ga. L. 1992, p. 56, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 590, § 37; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 269, § 25; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 55; Ga. L. 2008, p. 817, § 4/HB 1098; Ga. L. 2011, p. 683, § 18/SB 82; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 40/HB 316; Ga. L. 2021, p. 14, § 41/SB 202.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-494. Computation and certification of write-in votes

 The superintendent, in computing the votes cast at any election, shall compute and certify only those write-in votes cast for candidates who have given proper notice of intent to be write-in candidates pursuant to Code Section 21-2-133 exactly as such names were written by the elector.

History

Code 1933, § 34-1506, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 292, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 417, § 9; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-499. Duty of Secretary of State as to tabulation, computation, and canvassing of votes for state and federal officers; certification of presidential electors by Governor

(a) Upon receiving the certified returns of any election from the various superintendents, the Secretary of State shall immediately proceed to tabulate, compute, and canvass the votes cast for all candidates described in subparagraph (a)(4)(A) of Code Section 21-2-497 and upon all questions voted for by the electors of more than one county and shall thereupon certify and file in his or her office the tabulation thereof. In the event an error is found in the certified returns presented to the Secretary of State or in the tabulation, computation, or canvassing of votes as described in this Code section, the Secretary of State shall notify the county submitting the incorrect returns and direct the county to correct and recertify such returns. Upon receipt by the Secretary of State of the corrected certified returns of the county, the Secretary of State shall issue a new certification of the results and shall file the same in his or her office.

(b) The Secretary of State shall also, upon receiving the certified returns for presidential electors, proceed to tabulate, compute, and canvass the votes cast for each slate of presidential electors and shall immediately lay them before the Governor. Not later than 5:00 P.M. on the seventeenth day following the date on which such election was conducted, the Secretary of State shall certify the votes cast for all candidates described in subparagraph (a)(4)(A) of Code Section 21-2-497 and upon all questions voted for by the electors of more than one county and shall no later than that same time lay the returns for presidential electors before the Governor. The Governor shall enumerate and ascertain the number of votes for each person so voted and shall certify the slates of presidential electors receiving the highest number of votes. The Governor shall certify the slates of presidential electors no later than 5:00 P.M. on the eighteenth day following the date on which such election was conducted. Notwithstanding the deadlines specified in this Code section, such times may be altered for just cause by an order of a judge of superior court of this state.

(c) The Secretary of State shall not count, tabulate, or publish the names of any write-in candidates for whom the notice of intention of candidacy has not been provided in compliance with Code Section 21-2-133.

History

Code 1933, § 34-1510, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 292, § 1; Ga. L. 1970, p. 347, § 30; Ga. L. 1987, p. 997, § 3; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1027, § 14; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 269, § 26; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 57; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 39/SB 92; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 43/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 

§ 21-2-501. Number of votes required for election; runoff

(a)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, no candidate shall be nominated for public office in any primary or special primary or elected to public office in any election or special election or shall take or be sworn into such elected public office unless such candidate shall have received a majority of the votes cast to fill such nomination or public office. In instances where no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, a run-off primary, special primary runoff, run-off election, or special election runoff between the candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes shall be held. Unless such date is postponed by a court order, such runoff shall be held on the twenty-eighth day after the day of holding the preceding general or special primary or general or special election.

(2) If any candidate eligible to be in a runoff withdraws, dies, or is found to be ineligible, the remaining candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes shall be the candidates in the runoff.

(3) The candidate receiving the highest number of the votes cast in such run-off primary, special primary runoff, run-off election, or special election runoff to fill the nomination or public office sought shall be declared the winner.

(4) The name of a write-in candidate eligible for election in a runoff shall be printed on the election or special election run-off ballot in the independent column.

(5) The run-off primary, special primary runoff, run-off election, or special election runoff shall be a continuation of the primary, special primary, election, or special election for the particular office concerned. Only the electors who are duly registered to vote and not subsequently deemed disqualified to vote in the runoff 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.

(b) For the purposes of this subsection, the word "plurality" shall mean the receiving by one candidate alone of the highest number of votes cast. If the municipal charter or ordinances of a municipality as now existing or as amended subsequent to September 1, 1968, provide that a candidate may be nominated or elected by a plurality of the votes cast to fill such nomination or public office, such provision shall prevail. Otherwise, no municipal candidate shall be nominated for public office in any primary or elected to public office in any election unless such candidate shall have received a majority of the votes cast to fill such nomination or public office.

(c) In instances in which no municipal candidate receives a majority of the votes cast and the municipal charter or ordinances do not provide for nomination or election by a plurality vote, a run-off primary or election shall be held between the candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes. Such runoff shall be held on the twenty-eighth day after the day of holding the first primary or election, unless such run-off date is postponed by court order. No elector shall vote in a run-off primary in violation of Code Section 21-2-216. The run-off primary or election shall be a continuation of the first primary or election, and only those votes cast for the candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes in the first primary or election shall be counted. No write-in votes may be cast in such a primary, run-off primary, or run-off election. If any candidate eligible to be in a runoff withdraws, dies, or is found to be ineligible, the remaining candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes shall be the candidates in such runoff. The municipal candidate receiving the highest number of the votes cast in such run-off primary or run-off election to fill the nomination or public office sought shall be declared the winner. The municipality shall give written notice to the Secretary of State of such runoff as soon as such municipality certifies the preceding primary, special primary, election, or special election.

(d) The name of a municipal write-in candidate eligible for election in a municipal runoff shall be printed on the municipal run-off election ballot in the independent column.

(e) In all cities having a population in excess of 100,000 according to the United States decennial census of 1980 or any future such census, in order for a municipal candidate to be nominated for public office in any primary or elected to public office in any municipal election, he or she must receive a majority of the votes cast.

(f) Except for presidential electors, to be elected to public office in a general election, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast in an election to fill such public office. To be elected to the office of presidential electors, no slate of candidates shall be required to receive a majority of the votes cast, but that slate of candidates shall be elected to such office which receives the highest number of votes cast.

History

Code 1933, § 34-1513, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 257, § 2; Ga. L. 1969, p. 292, § 1; Ga. L. 1970, p. 347, § 30; Ga. L. 1971, p. 602, § 3; Ga. L. 1975, p. 867, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 904, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1718, § 10; Ga. L. 1983, p. 827, § 2; Ga. L. 1986, p. 855, § 7; Ga. L. 1987, p. 417, § 10; Ga. L. 1994, p. 279, § 11; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 10; Ga. L. 1996, p. 101, § 4; Ga. L. 1996, p. 145, § 20; Ga. L. 1997, p. 590, § 39; Ga. L. 1998, p. 145, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 825, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 21, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 52, § 17; Ga. L. 2001, p. 240, § 42; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 59; Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 63/HB 244; Ga. L. 2008, p. 817, § 7/HB 1098; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 24/HB 540; Ga. L. 2014, p. 1, § 7/HB 310; Ga. L. 2017, p. 2, § 2/HB 42; Ga. L. 2021, p. 14, § 42/SB 202.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED 

 

§ 21-2-502. Issuance of certificates of election and commission; Governor's proclamation as to constitutional amendments

(a) Governor and other constitutional officers. Upon completing the tabulation of any election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture, or Commissioner of Labor, the Secretary of State shall lay the same before the Governor upon his or her oath of office as Governor; and the Governor, upon the other constitutional officers taking their oaths of office, shall issue a commission under the great seal of the State of Georgia signed by the Governor and countersigned by the Secretary of State, to each such person. The Secretary of State shall issue the commission to the person elected Governor.

(b) United States senators; representatives in Congress; members of the General Assembly.

(1) Upon completing the tabulation of any election for United States senator or representative in Congress, the Secretary of State shall lay the same before the Governor, who shall immediately issue certificates of election and commissions under the seal of the state, duly signed by the Governor and attested by the Secretary of State and deliver the same to the candidates receiving the required number of votes to be elected to the respective offices.

(2) The Secretary of State shall issue certificates of election to the persons elected members of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the General Assembly and, between the hours of 12:00 Noon and 1:00 P.M. on the second Monday in January of each odd-numbered year, present before the Senate and the House of Representatives the several returns of the elections of members of the respective houses. In case of a special election the Secretary of State shall issue a certificate of election to each person so elected, and the Secretary of State shall present the returns of such election to the proper house as soon as received and tabulated by the Secretary of State. Immediately upon their taking the oath of office, each member of the Senate and the House of Representatives shall be issued a commission under the great seal of the State of Georgia, signed by the Secretary of State.

(c) Justices of the Supreme Court, Judges of the Court of Appeals, Commissioners of the Georgia Public Service Commission, judges of the superior court, judges of the juvenile court, and district attorneys. Upon completion of the tabulation the Secretary of State shall certify the result of each election of Justices of the Supreme Court, of Judges of the Court of Appeals, of Commissioners of the Georgia Public Service Commission, of judges of the superior court, of judges of the juvenile court where elected, and of district attorneys to the Governor and shall issue a certificate of election to each person so elected. The Governor shall, upon each such person taking the oath of office, immediately issue a commission under the great seal of the State of Georgia, signed by the Governor and countersigned by the Secretary of State, to each such person.

(d) County officers. The superintendent in each county shall, as soon as the returns have been properly certified, issue certificates of election to the successful candidates for all county officers to be filled by the votes of electors of such county. Immediately upon taking the oath of office, each such county officer shall be issued a commission under the seal of the executive department, signed by the Governor and countersigned by one of his or her secretaries.

(e) Presidential electors. The Secretary of State, on receiving and computing the returns of presidential electors, shall lay them before the Governor, who shall enumerate and ascertain the number of votes for each person so voted for and shall cause a certificate of election to be delivered to each person so chosen.

(f) Constitutional amendments. Upon receiving the certified results of elections on all constitutional amendments from the Secretary of State, the Governor shall issue his or her proclamation declaring the results of the vote of each amendment.

History

Orig. Code 1863, § 1252; Code 1868, § 1333; Code 1873, § 1312; Ga. L. 1880-81, p. 67, § 1; Code 1882, § 1312; Ga. L. 1888, p. 33, § 1; Civil Code 1895, § 90; Civil Code 1910, § 104; Code 1933, § 34-2502; Ga. L. 1958, p. 208, § 7; Code 1933, § 34-1511, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 292, § 1; Ga. L. 1970, p. 347, § 30; Ga. L. 1983, p. 884, § 6-7; Ga. L. 1984, p. 565, § 2; Ga. L. 1985, p. 206, § 1; Ga. L. 1986, p. 32, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 279, § 12; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1027, § 15; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

§ 21-2-379.22. Requirements for electronic ballot marking

No electronic ballot marker shall be adopted or used in primaries or elections in this state unless it shall, at the time, satisfy the following requirements:

(1) Provide facilities for marking ballots for all candidates and for all referendums or questions for which the elector shall be entitled to vote in a primary or election;

(2) Permit each elector, in one operation, to mark a vote for presidential electors for all the candidates of one party or body for the office of presidential elector;

(3) Permit each elector to mark votes, at any election, for any person and for any office for whom and for which he or she is lawfully entitled to vote, whether or not the name of such person or persons appears as a candidate for election; to mark votes for as many persons for an office as he or she is entitled to vote for; and to mark votes for or against any question upon which he or she is entitled to vote;

(4) Preclude the marking of votes for any candidate or upon any question for whom or upon which an elector is not entitled to vote; preclude the marking of votes for more persons for any office than the elector is entitled to vote for; and preclude the marking of votes for any candidate for the same office or upon any question more than once;

(5) Permit voting in absolute secrecy so that no person can see or know any other elector's votes, except when he or she has assisted the elector in voting, as prescribed by law;

(6) Produce a paper ballot which is marked with the elector's choices in a format readable by the elector;

(7) Be constructed of good quality material in a neat and workmanlike manner;

(8) When properly operated, mark correctly and accurately every vote cast;

(9) Be so constructed that an elector may readily learn the method of operating it; and

(10) Be safely transportable.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-379.22, enacted by Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 26/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

§ 21-2-225. Confidentiality of original registration applications; limitations on registration data available for public inspection; data made available by Secretary of State; membership in nongovernmental entity for purpose of sharing and exchanging information to improve accuracy and efficiency of voter registration systems

(a) Neither the original applications for voter registration nor any copies thereof shall be open for public inspection except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) Except as provided in Code Section 21-2-225.1, all data collected and maintained on electors whose names appear on the list of electors maintained by the Secretary of State pursuant to this article shall be available for public inspection with the exception of bank statements submitted pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-220 and subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-417, the month and day of birth, the social security numbers, e-mail addresses, and driver's license numbers of the electors, and the locations at which the electors applied to register to vote, which shall remain confidential and shall be used only for voter registration purposes; provided, however, that any and all information relating to the dates of birth, social security numbers, and driver's license numbers of electors may be made available to other agencies of this state, to agencies of other states and territories of the United States, and to agencies of the federal government if the agency is authorized to maintain such information and the information is used only to identify the elector on the receiving agency's data base and is not disseminated further and remains confidential. Information regarding an elector's year of birth shall be available for public inspection.

(c) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to furnish copies of such data as may be collected and maintained on electors whose names appear on the list of electors maintained by the Secretary of State pursuant to this article, within the limitations provided in this article, on electronic media or computer run list or both. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Secretary of State shall establish the cost to be charged for such data. The Secretary of State may contract with private vendors to make such data available in accordance with this subsection. Such data may not be used by any person for commercial purposes.

(d)

(1) The Secretary of State may become a member of a nongovernmental entity whose purpose is to share and exchange information in order to improve the accuracy and efficiency of voter registration systems. The membership of the nongovernmental entity shall be composed solely of election officials of state and territorial governments of the United States, except that such membership may also include election officials of the District of Columbia.

(2) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Secretary of State may share confidential and exempt information after becoming a member of such nongovernmental entity as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) The Secretary of State may become a member of such nongovernmental entity only if such entity is controlled and operated by the participating jurisdictions. The entity shall not be operated or controlled by the federal government or any other entity acting on behalf of the federal government. The Secretary of State must be able to withdraw at any time from any such membership in such nongovernmental entity.

(4) If the Secretary of State becomes a member of such nongovernmental entity, the Department of Driver Services shall, pursuant to an agreement with the Secretary of State, provide driver's license or identification card information related to voter eligibility to the Secretary of State for the purpose of sharing and exchanging voter registration information with such nongovernmental entity.

(5) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, upon the Secretary of State becoming a member of a nongovernmental entity as provided in this subsection, information received by the Secretary of State from the nongovernmental entity is exempt from disclosure under Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50 and any other provision of law. However, the Secretary of State may provide such information to the boards of registrars to conduct voter registration list maintenance activities.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-225, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1995, p. 8, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1027, § 6; Ga. L. 1996, p. 145, § 8; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 21; Ga. L. 2004, p. 103, § 1; Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 26/HB 244; Ga. L. 2008, p. 781, § 8/HB 1112; Ga. L. 2009, p. 316, § 1/HB 227; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 11/HB 540; Ga. L. 2011, p. 590, § 1/HB 143; Ga. L. 2011, p. 683, § 7/SB 82; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 7/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

 
§ 21-2-225.1. Confidentiality of address of registered electors; term of request; procedure

(a) Any registered elector in this state who has obtained a protective order under Code Section 19-13-4 or under a similar provision of law in another state or who has obtained a restraining order or protective order under Code Section 16-5-94 or under a similar provision of law in another state may request the board of registrars of such elector's county of residence to make such elector's residence address confidential. An elector who is a bona fide resident of a family violence shelter, as defined in Code Section 19-13-20, may request to have his or her address made confidential without having to obtain a restraining order or protective order.

(b) Upon the filing of a request with an affidavit under oath with the board of registrars by a registered elector stating that the elector has obtained a protective order under Code Section 19-13-4 or similar provision of law from another state or a restraining order or protective order under Code Section 16-5-94 or a similar provision of law of another state or, if the elector is a resident of a family violence shelter, a certification by the operators of such family violence shelter that such elector is a bona fide resident of such shelter, the registrars shall immediately review such request and supporting documents and, if such request and documentation is sufficient, shall approve the request and immediately take such steps as necessary to make the residence address of the elector confidential.

(c) A request under this Code section, once approved, shall be effective for a period of four years following its approval by the registrars and may be renewed for additional four-year periods by the filing of a new request with the supporting documentation required by subsection (b) of this Code section prior to the end of each four-year period. If the elector registers to vote in another county in this state or another state, a new request for confidentiality of the elector's residence address with the supporting documentation required in subsection (b) of this Code section shall be filed with the new county in order to continue the confidentiality of the elector's residence address or the confidentiality shall terminate.

(d) The Secretary of State shall provide by procedure, rule, or regulation for the mechanism by which such information shall be made confidential on the voter registration data base and may provide for forms for use in making such requests and for the use of alternate addresses for electors who file requests for the confidentiality of their residence addresses.

(e) Information made confidential pursuant to this Code section shall not be subject to disclosure under Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-225.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2009, p. 316, § 2/HB 227.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED

§ 21-2-235. Inactive list of electors

(a) In addition to the official list of electors, the Secretary of State shall also maintain an inactive list of electors. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the names of electors on the inactive list of electors shall not be counted in computing the number of ballots required for an election, the number of voting devices needed for a precinct, the number of electors required to divide or constitute a precinct, or the number of signatures needed on any petition. However, any elector whose name appears on the inactive list shall be eligible to sign a petition and such petition signature, if valid and regardless of the validity of the petition as a whole, shall be sufficient to return the elector to the official list of electors if the elector still resides at the address listed on the elector's registration records and shall be grounds to proceed under Code Section 21-2-234 to confirm the change of address of the elector if the elector provides a different address from the address which appears on the elector's registration records.

(b) An elector placed on the inactive list of electors shall remain on such list until the day after the second November general election held after the elector is placed on the inactive list of electors. If the elector makes no contact, as defined in Code Section 21-2-234, during that period, the elector shall be removed from the inactive list of electors. Not less than 30 nor more than 60 days prior to the date on which the elector is to be removed from the inactive list of electors, the board of registrars shall mail a notice to the address on the elector's registration record.

(c) An elector whose name is on the inactive list of electors may vote:

(1) If the elector has not changed residences, at the polling place of such elector's last address upon affirming in writing that such elector still resides at the address shown on such elector's registration records;

(2) If the elector has moved to an address within the county in the same precinct, such elector may vote at the polling place of such elector's last address upon affirming in writing that such elector resides in the county by completing a change of address card affirming the new address within the county; or

(3) If the elector has moved to an address within the county or municipality in a different precinct, such elector may vote at the polling place of such elector's last address, for that election and any runoffs resulting from such election only, upon affirming in writing that such elector still resides in the county or municipality and completing a change of address card affirming the new address within the county or municipality.

(d) If an elector whose name appears on the inactive list of electors appears at the polls and votes as provided under subsection (c) of this Code section, the board of registrars shall transfer the elector's name back to the official list of electors and shall make any necessary corrections in the elector's registration records.

(e) In addition to the official list of electors provided to each polling place, there shall also be provided an inactive list of electors.

History

Code 1981, § 21-2-235, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1995, p. 8, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 649, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 24; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 13/HB 540; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 12/HB 316.

OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED