The revised ballot request form was published after a handful of voters in Clayton County had already applied for absentee ballots using the previous form for a Sept. 21 special election for the County Commission and school board. Those nine voters will be issued absentee ballots and submit ID when they return them.
Before Georgia’s new ID requirements, absentee voters’ identities were verified based on their registration information and by comparing their signatures.
Besides a driver’s license or state ID, voters can submit copies of other forms of ID when requesting an absentee ballot, including a military ID card, a government employee ID card, a Georgia voter identification card, a U.S. passport, a current utility bill, a bank statement or a government check.
ID is required again when voters return their absentee ballots, and they can also use the last four digits of their Social Security numbers as identification during that part of the process.
About 272,000 voters — 3.5% of all registered Georgia voters — don’t have a driver’s license or state ID on file with election officials, meaning they’d have to submit different identification documents to request and cast absentee ballots.
All registered Georgia voters are eligible to vote absentee without having to provide an excuse. Georgia has required photo ID for in-person voting since 2008.
Georgia’s new absentee ballot request form is available on the elections section of the secretary of state’s website at https://sos.ga.gov/.