How do I register to vote and what are the qualifications?
Download, complete, and mail a voter registration application
Contact the Board of Elections office, public library, public assistance office, recruitment office, schools and other government offices for a mail-in registration form.
Registration is offered when you renew or apply for your driver's license at Department of Driver's Services driver’s license posts.
College students can obtain Georgia voter registration forms, or the necessary forms to register in any state in the U.S., from their school registrar's office or from the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
You must be a US Citizen and a resident of Georgia and the county.
Must be at least 17 1/2 to register and 18 years of age to vote.
Not serving a sentence for a felony involving moral turpitude.
Not have been judicially declared mentally incompetent.
Once your application is received and approved you will receive a voter precinct card. You may confirm your voter registration status through the Secretary of State's poll locator. If you have submitted a voter registration application within the prior three to four weeks and your name does not appear, please contact the Board of Elections Office or access Secretary of State's MVP to check the status of your application.
Am I required to show identification when I vote?
When you arrive at your polling place, you will complete a voter's certificate which asks for your name and residence address. You will then present the certificate and proper identification to the poll officials who will verify that you are a registered voter in that precinct by checking the voters list for that precinct. Voters are required to present identification at their polling place prior to casting their ballot. Proper identification shall consist of any 1 of the following:
A valid Georgia driver's license, even if expired
Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID
Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
Valid U.S. passport ID
Valid U.S. military photo ID
Valid tribal photo ID
Note: The "precinct card" you receive to confirm your voter registration and voting location is NOT a form of identification, and it will not be sufficient identification to vote. A free Voter ID Card can be issued by the Board of Elections office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services. More information on Georgia's Voter Identification Requirements and obtaining a free Voter Identification Card is available from the Georgia Secretary of State's Website.
What is the difference between a special election, a primary election, and a general election?
A special election means an election that arises from some emergency or special need outside the usual routine. This could include a vacancy in a public office or the holding of a county referendum. An example of a referendum would be the holding of a special local option sales tax question in the county.
A primary means any election held for the purpose of electing party officers or nominating candidates for public offices to be voted upon at a general election. In Georgia, political parties are defined as any political organization that at the preceding Gubernatorial election nominated a candidate for Governor and whose candidate for Governor at such election pulled at least 20% of the total votes cast in the state for Governor or in a Presidential election nominated a candidate for President of the United States and whose candidates for presidential electors at such election pulled at least 20% of the total votes cast in the nation for that office. At the present time, recognized political parties in Georgia include the Democratic and Republican parties.
A general election is held at intervals fixed by law. In Georgia, the general election is held the Tuesday after the first Monday of November in each even-numbered year. Most terms of office are for 4 years. Exceptions to this include 6-year terms for United States Senators and 2-year terms for Georgia General Assembly members and United States Representatives. The general election will include the candidates nominated at the political party primaries, political body candidates nominated by petition or state convention, independent candidates through the petition process, and write-in candidates.