Georgia’s voter registration deadline is here, the last chance for residents to get their names on the rolls if they want to cast a ballot in the Nov. 8 presidential election.
Georgia is one of more than a dozen states where the registration window closes at the end of Tuesday, with Election Day less than a month away.
As of Friday, more than a half million people had registered to vote in Georgia since the March 1 presidential primary, as the state's voter rolls have soared to an all-time high ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.
The number of new voters on Friday morning stood at more than 552,000, although that number will continue to rise through the state’s voter registration deadline on Tuesday. There are currently more than 6.5 million registered voters in Georgia, compared to about 6 million four years ago during the last presidential election.
Early voting has already started in Georgia: More than 28,000 people as of Friday had returned absentee ballots to the state, out of the more than 129,000 mail ballots requested as of that morning. Those numbers will also continue to rise closer to the election.
And once “in-person” early voting starts Oct. 17, expect totals to skyrocket. In the last presidential election alone, nearly 2 million people in Georgia cast their ballots ahead of Election Day.
The effect of Hurricane Matthew
Coastal residents affected by evacuations from Hurricane Matthew have been urged by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to take advantage of the state's online and mobile voter access points. A number of election registration offices had closed in coastal counties due to the storm, and the hurricane delayed mail service in certain Georgia counties, potentially also delaying processing of paper voter registration applications.
South Carolina announced last week it would extend its deadline until today to register to vote in the general election. Georgia officials have indicated there are no plans at this time to do the same. A federal judge on Monday ordered Florida, which originally had a Tuesday deadline, to extend its deadline to at least Wednesday due to the storm.
A technical snafu
Any Georgian who tried to register to vote online using his or her driver's license number during the evening of Sept. 30 and midday Oct.3 has also been encouraged to re-register, due to a technical snafu that weekend by a vendor for the state Department of Driver Services. It caused an error that blocked instant verification of electronic voter registration applications for people using their driver's license number to confirm their identity.
How to register to vote in Georgia
Anyone who is not registered to vote has through Tuesday to do so. You can confirm your voter status online through the Secretary of State Office's online "my voter page" website (www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do).
If you need to register, there are several options:
- For online voter registration, go to the Secretary of State Office's website (www.sos.ga.gov) and, under the elections tab, click "Register to Vote."
- Text "GA" or "Georgia" to "2VOTE" (28683). This service is sponsored by the state.
- Download the free "GA SOS" app on your smartphone via iTunes or Google Play for Android.
- For paper applications, visit your local elections office or download a voter registration application (http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/Elections/register_to_vote) and mail in the completed form.
- Check the "voter registration" box when you renew or apply for your driver's license.
- If you are a college student, you can obtain Georgia voter registration forms or the necessary forms to register in any U.S. state from your school registrar's office.