We’re now just a month away from Georgia’s 2022 primary election, which will be held on May 24 and will include primary races for governor, U.S. Senate, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and more. But if you want to vote in that election, you need to make sure you’re registered today: Monday, April 25, 2022.
If you think you are registered to vote, double-check your registration on Georgia’s My Voter Page. It literally takes seconds and will let you confirm not only that you are indeed registered to vote in the state, but that your name, address, and other information is correct. Georgia has a “use it or lose it” law, so if you have not voted for five years, you will be deemed an “inactive” voter. After two general elections as an “inactive” voter, your registration is cancelled. If you are “inactive,” you can still vote, and voting will change your status to “active.”
Since voting is processed at the county level, if you’ve moved across county lines more than 30 days before the election, you must register to vote in your new county. (The city does not matter; if you still live in Atlanta but crossed the Fulton/DeKalb line, you have to register in your new county.) If you don’t, you won’t be able to vote in the primary. If you moved across county lines within 30 days of the election, you can vote at your previous polling place. If you moved within the same county, you may be able to vote in your previous polling location if you haven’t notified the registrar of a change of address at least 30 days prior to the primary, but you need to still let them know you moved. You can either contact the county board of registrars’ office or submit a new voter registration application.
Also, while Georgia does have automatic voting registration for those receiving or renewing driver’s licenses, its website subtly changed the process online in 2021. Rather than having only the option to opt-out of automatic voter registration, those updating their driver’s licenses last year were asked to select “yes” or “no” to whether or not they wanted to register to vote. This has since recently been changed back to only giving folks the option to opt-out of automatic voter registration, but the change last year might have been why the rate of Georgians who registered to vote via the Department of Driver Services dropped from 79 percent in 2020 to 39 percent in 2021.
All this to say, even if you think you’re registered to vote, it’s smart to double-check your status via the My Voter Page before the registration deadline of any election. If something looks wrong, you can change your name or address here. Contact your county’s registrar office if you have more questions.
If you are not registered to vote in Georgia, you can register online here through the Secretary of State’s office. To register online, you must have a valid Georgia driver’s license or ID card issued by Georgia DDS.
If you don’t have either of these things, you can apply using this mail-in form, which will ask for the last 4 digits of your social security number in lieu of a driver’s license or Georgia ID number. Print and complete the form and mail it; the postage is prepaid. (You can also fill out most of this form digitally through the state’s website, but you’ll still have to print it out and physically mail it.) If you don’t own a printer, you can get one of these forms at the county board of registrars’ office, or an election office, libraries, schools, recruitment offices, or if you’re a college student, from your school’s registrar office.
To be eligible to vote in Georgia, you must be a U.S. citizen, a legal resident of whichever county you live in, and at least 18 years old on Election Day (you can register once you hit 17 and a half years old). You also cannot be serving a sentence “for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude,” and you cannot have been found “mentally incompetent” by a judge.