Vote by Drop Box
You don’t need to use the United States Post Office to cast your vote.
Nor do you need to vote In-Person using one of Georgia’s expensive new touchscreen machines.
As Karen Mixon, 1st Vice Chair of the DeKalb Democrats says, “Drop Boxes are one of the most powerful weapons to fight voter suppression in November. Please go ahead and apply for absentee ballot ASAP.”
I agree with Karen, and so do the voting rights advocates I’ve spoken with recently. Order your paper absentee ballot today and plan to drop it in one of the new drop boxes located around the counties.
Delivering your paper ballot to a drop box not only protects your health and your vote — it frees up space during In-Person Voting (October 12 – November 3). The June 9th primary brought out crowds of unexpected Democratic voters who had to wait in lines for hours. The more people who Vote by Dropbox, the shorter the In-Person lines, resulting in less voter suppression.
More on Paper Ballots and Drop Boxes
Where are Drop Boxes located? The State Elections Board issued rules that require Drop Boxes to be placed on county or municipal property with 24-hour video streaming for security. If you live in a city, it’s likely a drop box will be located at your City Hall. The Georgia Democratic Party maintains a list of Drop Box locations state-wide. Keep in mind that you must use a Drop Box located in the county where you are registered to vote.
How do I request a Paper Absentee Ballot? Right now, the best way to request a ballot is through Georgia’s My Voter Page. Enter your name, county and birthday, then click Submit. Look for the link titled “Absentee Ballot Application.” Print it, fill it out, sign it, then either mail or email it to your County Election Office. Call the Democratic Party of Georgia Voter Protection Hotline at 1-888-730-5816 if you have any questions. If you email the application, be sure to double check the email address before you hit send! These ballot requests are processed and mailed from your County Elections Office, and the mailing of ballots begins in mid-September. You can check back on the My Voter Page to get updates about the processing of your request and your ballot after you return it.
DeKalb county will soon be sending Absentee Ballot Requests to all DeKalb voters, active and inactive! Thank you, DeKalb! We expect this will help increase participation, like it did for the Primary election. To my knowledge, other metro counties are not planning on mailing applications to voters.
Also, in a few weeks, the Georgia Secretary of State’s office will unveil a new Absentee Ballot Request Website. Voters will enter their name, birthdate, and driver’s license or state ID number. Ballots ordered through this website will be processed and mailed by a private vendor in Arizona. Voters without a driver’s license or state ID can still use the forms from the My Voter Page to request a ballot from their County Elections Office.
More on Voting-in-Person
Vote-by-Mail utilization jumped from 5% of the electorate to 50% during the 2020 Primaries. This trend is expected to continue. This will help shorten lines during In-Person Voting, which starts on October 12 — just 58 days from today.
If you vote in person, you will be using new, touchscreen machines. These machines produce a printed ballot. Please carefully check that your selections are correct on this ballot. The printout is not a receipt — it is a ballot that must be scanned to tally your vote. Don’t leave the polling place with the printout, or your vote won’t be counted! Unfortunately, the scanner does not read the printed list of names — it reads a barcode that you cannot check. This is one of the reasons I voted against the purchase of these new machines.
If you prefer to vote in person, please vote during the Early Voting period. Don’t wait until the last day, when lines will be much longer.
Volunteer Opportunities at the Polls
It is expected that millions of people across Georgia will cast their votes in person between Oct 12 and Nov 3 this year. During the June primary, there were lots of technical issues that resulted in delays for voters. We need to recruit thousands of people to work the polls in order to reduce delays and make these new machines work as smoothly as possible.
Poll Watchers: Poll Watchers are trained and officially certified volunteers who are assigned to a polling place to watch the entire voting process while documenting and reporting any problems observed.
Poll Workers: Poll Workers are hired, trained and paid by your county of residence. Expect to work long days during Early Voting as well as Election Day. Poll Workers are involved in the inner workings of election administration.
The Georgia Youth Poll Workers Project: Recruit your kids and grandkids to help! Polling places were short-handed during the June Primary because many older poll workers could not work due to the virus. The Georgia Youth Poll Workers Project, led by Georgia State University graduate Evan Malbrough, seeks to recruit 5,000 students to be poll workers in the Atlanta area. Sign up here.