The deadline to register to vote in Georgia’s May 20 primaries is Monday, and state officials are closely watching the number of voters signing up via new online applications and mobile apps.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office said more than 4,000 Georgians had used the new tools unveiled March 31.
The biggest hurdle, Georgia officials said, has been trying to build awareness about the new online system. Just three days after the launch, Kemp announced about 1,000 voters had used the system — the number includes both new voters and previously registered voters who needed to update their residency information.
By April 11, that number had more than doubled to 2,400, and by midnight Wednesday, 2,112 voters registered online and an additional 1,932 had updated their information.
Both local officials and experts have said the online system is a win-win for voters and municipalities because it can help the state avoid issues with rejected registrations, use of provisional ballots and nonvoting due to registration problems — all past problems in Georgia.
Anyone wanting to register needs a valid Georgia driver’s license or state-issued identification card, which automatically syncs a voter’s information with his or her local registrar.
HOW TO REGISTER OR CHECK VOTING STATUS
Anyone can register to vote or confirm his or her voter status online through the Georgia secretary of state’s website (www.sos.ga.gov). If you haven’t already, here are several ways to register:
- Log on to the Georgia secretary of state’s website and, under the elections tab, click “Register to Vote.”
- Download and complete a voter registration application, then mail it in (http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/Elections/register_to_vote).
- Contact your local county elections office, public library, public assistance office, recruitment office, schools or other government offices for a mail-in registration form. A list can be found at http://sos.georgia.gov/cgi-bin/countyregistrarsindex.asp.
- Check the “voter registration” box when you renew or apply for your driver’s license through the state Department of Driver Services.
- 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.
Voters can download free “GA Votes” apps for both Apple and Android operating systems, which they can use to register or confirm their voter information. Go to the iTunes app store to download it for your iPhone or iPad. The Android version is available now, too.