Thursday, January 03, 2008

Do you need to do anything special to vote Feb. 7th?

Due to the change in the way the Presidential Primary is being held in Georgia, a few people have asked if there's anything special they need to do to vote.

Short answer: No.

Although we'll be going to the polls to vote for our choice for the Presidential candidate for our respective parties earlier and separately from other elections, this is basically just like any other election.

If you're already registered and have voted in the county where you're living, you'll just need to bring your I.D. and vote as normal. If you're registered but haven't voted in umpteen years, it never hurts to double check with the county's Election office to make sure nothing is amiss. I have heard tales of people showing up to vote after years of inactivity only to find there was a glitch of some sort. Problems are rare, but I'd rather know in advance and have the chance to fix whatever might be wrong rather than show up to vote and get irritated at the poll workers.

Here's where to go to if you have any questions or want to check on your voter status:

Board of Elections & Voter Registration
Stonewall Administrative Complex
140 Stonewall Avenue West
Suite 208
Fayetteville, GA 30214
Telephone: 770.460.5730 Ext. 5408
Hours: 8 am - 5 pm M-F

If you've recently moved, or moved a while back but haven't notified the local board of your move, here's the general rules:

- Voters are required to notify the board of registrars of their county of residence whenever they move.
- If you move within the same county in which you are registered to vote and don't
notify the registrar at least 30 days prior to an election, you may vote in your
old polling place for that election. You must file a notice of your new address.
This can be done by writing your county board of registrars' office, or by
submitting a new voter registration application.
- If you move outside the county in which you are registered to vote within 30 days of an election, you may vote in your old precinct for that election.
- If you move outside the county in which you are registered to vote in excess of 30 days prior to an election, you have lost your eligibility to vote in the county of your old residence. You must register to vote in your new county of residence. If you
don't register to vote by the deadline, you cannot vote in that particular

Here's where you can register to vote:

- Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety Driver's Services
- Department of Human Resources' Public Assistance Offices (WICS, DFACS, Rehab)
- Public Libraries
- Recruitment Offices
- County courthouses and city halls
- Elections and Voter Registration Office
- Colleges and high schools for students and personnel

To find out where you should vote go the Secretary of State's Poll Locator:

Thanks for the questions, both on the blog and via email! Glad you're involved.


Here's part of a press release sent out by Secretary of State Karen Handel regarding the upcoming election:

To register to vote in Georgia, you must be a citizen of the United States, a legal resident of Georgia and of the county in which you wish to vote, and at least 18 years old by Election Day. You may not register to vote if you are currently serving any sentence imposed by the conviction of a felony or judicially determined to be mentally incompetent.

You can download and complete a voter registration application by visiting the Secretary of State’s website at You can also contact your local county registrars' office, public library, public assistance office, recruitment office, schools and other government offices for a mail-in registration form. Voter Registration is offered when renewing or applying for a driver's license at any Georgia Department of Driver Services office. College students can obtain Georgia voter registration forms from their school registrar's office or from the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Secretary Handel also reminds voters that Georgia law requires registered voters to show photo identification when voting in person. This photo identification requirement applies in the February 5 Presidential Preference Primary and all future elections. When voting absentee by mail, photo identification is not required.
Voters casting ballots in person, either through early voting or on Election Day, will be required to show one of the following forms of acceptable photo ID when they vote:

§ A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired;
§ Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID Card issued by your county registrar or Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS);
§ Valid U.S. passport;
§ 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. military photo ID; or
§ Valid tribal photo ID.
Voters who do not have a form of identification listed above are eligible to receive a FREE Georgia Voter ID from their county elections office.

Voters who have questions are encouraged to call the Georgia Secretary of State’s Voter ID Hotline at (877) 725-9797 or visit our website at

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