Everything to know about voting in Georgia

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Everything to know about voting in Georgia

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Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com
The gold dome of the Georgia State Capitol is shown at dusk Wednesday evening in Atlanta, Ga., January 9, 2013.

Now that you're living in Georgia, there are some things you'll need to know.

First off, voting is a little different here.

For one thing, virtually all of Georgia casts ballots on touch-screen electronic voting machines. For another, Georgians don't register with a political party. We're all independents. That means on the day of a party primary election, voters can choose either a Democratic or Republican ballot --- or a nonpartisan one. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, in most cases there will be a runoff election.

For now, the Republicans run nearly everything. The governor's office and both houses of the Legislature are run by the GOP.

This is a red state, after all.

Still, this is a big change. Democrats ran state government without interruption from the 1870s until Sonny Perdue was elected governor in 2002. (Nathan Deal is Georgia's current and second Republican governor after the long Democratic reign).

Most importantly, you can now buy beer, wine or liquor in stores on Sundays most places in Georgia, and you can order drinks in restaurants in most places. Both of these activities can only happen after 12:30 p.m. on Sundays with some exceptions on the drinks in restaurants part.

The weirdness over alcohol sales on Sunday is a remnant of "blue laws." They were written on blue paper and were some of the first laws written in the American Colonies.

In Georgia, dancing, card playing, music, cooking, traveling, shaving, sweeping, crossing rivers, shopping and drinking were prohibited.

The state has repealed all its blue laws, but let us remind you about the Sunday stuff above.

HOW TO REGISTER TO VOTE

Potential voters must register at least 30 days before an election and present proper ID at the polls. For more information on proper identification, go to sos.ga.gov/index.php/elections/georgia_voter_identification_requirements2. Many counties have several voter registration stations, including libraries, schools and other government offices. Voters can register when they obtain their driver's license. Voter registration info is here: sos.ga.gov/index.php/Elections/register_to_vote

 

FAST FACTS

State bird: Brown thrasher

State fruit: Peach

State crop: Peanut

State fish: Largemouth bass

State flower: Cherokee rose

State motto: "Wisdom, Justice & Moderation"

State wildflower: Azalea

State song: "Georgia on My Mind" (music by Hoagy Carmichael, words by Stuart Gorrell)

State tree: Live oak

State vegetable: Vidalia sweet onion

Learn more about georgia trivia and history herehere and here.

HOW TO CONTACT STATE OFFICIALS

 Governor Nathan Deal (R)

206 Washington Street, Suite 203, State Capitol, Atlanta,  GA. 30334.

404-656-1776; fax: 404-657-7332

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle (R)

240 State Capitol SW, Atlanta, GA 30334.

404-656-5030; fax: 404-656-6739

>Attorney General Sam Olens (R)

40 Capitol Square SW, Atlanta, GA 30334.

404-656-3300; fax: 404-657-8733

Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R)

214 State Capitol SW, Atlanta, GA 30334.

404-656-2881; fax: 404-656-0513

State School Superintendent Richard Wood (R)

205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE,  Atlanta, GA 30334.

404-656-2800; fax: 404-651-8737.

 

U.S. SENATORS

Johnny Isakson, (R)

1 Overton Park, 3625 Cumberland Blvd., Suite 970, Atlanta 30339.

770-661-0999; fax: 770-661-0768.

David Perdue (R)

191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 3250, Atlanta, GA 30303.

404-865-0087; fax: 404-865-0311

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