Georgia, which is nearing 1 million ballots cast during the state’s early voting period, will open its polls this Saturday for a mandatory weekend voting day ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.
How popular is early voting? In the last presidential election, nearly 2 million people in Georgia cast early ballots ahead of Election Day — almost half of all ballots cast in that election. Election officials encourage it because it helps ease wait times on the big day itself. People who work — including busy parents — have also embraced early voting on weekends as a convenient way to avoid a scheduling jam during the week.
It’s worth noting that polls in some counties including Fulton will also voluntarily be open this Sunday. See below for how to find a place to vote and know what to bring with you when you go to the polls.
How to vote early in Georgia
Any voter registered in Georgia can vote early.
Each of Georgia’s 159 counties have at least one early voting location open — often, it’s the main elections office. Some, such as Fulton County, have several sites available. Be aware, however, that your regular neighborhood polling place will likely not be open; often, local municipalities only open select sites during the state’s 21-day early voting period.
Use the Secretary of State Office’s online “my voter page” website (www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do) to find a sample ballot or specific early voting location.
You can also call your local elections office to find early voting locations or look for the “advance voting info” link under the elections tab of the Secretary of State Office’s website (www.sos.ga.gov).
Don’t forget to bring photo identification, which can include a Georgia driver’s license, even if it’s expired; a state-issued voter identification card; a valid U.S. passport; or a valid U.S. military photo ID.
No “ballot selfies” are allowed at the polls, so wait to snap a photo until you’re outside. It is illegal in Georgia to take pictures of a ballot or voting equipment, but the Secretary of State Office has said it has seen voters in previous elections post “ballot selfies” on social media — something that could get you in trouble with the law.
Information about local elections and your “My Voter Page” can also be found on the free “GA SOS” app for your smartphone via iTunes or Google Play for Android.
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