It’s safe to say that 2018 isn’t a typical election year. More than 2 million cast early votes for Tuesday’s midterm election, more than for any other midterm in state history. The gubernatorial race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp is nationally headlining news, with both former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump stumping for their party’s respective candidate this past weekend. (Not to mention visits from Oprah and Vice President Mike Pence.) But even if you’re ready for it to all be over, it’s important that you get out and vote on November 6. No excuses, Atlanta. Here’s what you need to know:
Know before you go:
Find your polling place (and review a sample ballot) by entering your info at the Georgia secretary of state’s My Voter Page. Polls open at 7 a.m. Get to the voting precinct before polls close at 7 p.m.—if you’re standing in line before then, you can still vote—and be sure you have your photo ID. That can include a driver’s license, passport, or these other forms of accepted ID. Walk up, hand the poll workers your ID, and then cast your ballot. Be sure to double-check your ballot before you cast—a few voters have reported issues with their selections. Don’t forget to ask for one of those stickers with the peach when you’re finished. Remember, no selfies while you’re in the voting booth.
If you registered to vote by October 9 and your registration status was listed as “pending,” you can still vote. Bring your photo ID to the polls and show the poll worker the discrepancy. Learn more about the pending list here.
You can request a provisional ballot if you run into issues with your identification or registration. You must verify your identification to your voter registration within three days in order to have your provisional ballot counted.
Getting to the polls:
Do you need a help getting to your polling place? In addition to rideshare services like Uber, Lyft, and Lime scooters offering discount codes, there are a few organizations and businesses who are offering free rides as well. Check out our roundup here.
If you’re still researching your vote:
Procrastinators, we feel you. There a lot of races on the ballot. But don’t go in unprepared.
Statewide candidate questionnaires—hear from the candidates in their own words
You will also vote in a U.S. Representative race and state senate and house races, and some counties will have county commissioner and school board races. Check out your sample ballot on the state’s My Voter Page to see what’s on your ballot.
Amendments and referendums
Here’s our coverage of Amendment 1, which will create the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund.
For coverage on all five amendments and the two referendums, check out this AJC article.
And don’t forget about the “Brunch Bill,” which will allow alcohol sales at bars and restaurants to begin at 11 a.m. Sunday as opposed to 12:30 p.m. This will be on the ballot in most of the metro area. Eater Atlanta has more details.
And check out our complete election coverage at our Atlanta Election Guide 2018.
The gubernatorial candidate election night parties:
Stacey Abrams: The Democrat will hold her election party at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta downtown, where Keisha Lance Bottoms held mayoral party last year. 8:30 p.m.
Brian Kemp: The Republican will hold his election party at the Classic Center in Athens alongside Republican Jody Hice, incumbent and candidate for U.S. Representative for District 10. 8 p.m.
Ted Metz: The Libertarian Party of Georgia will host a watch party for all of its candidates at the Mellow Mushroom in Buckhead (1770 Peachtree Street) at 7 p.m.
Don’t want to leave the house? Follow @AtlantaMagazine on Twitter—we’ll tweet highlights from all three parties and post updates.
WSB-TV, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11 Alive, and other news organizations should all provide real-time—or as close to real-time as possible—results. If you prefer to check official government sources, here’s a link to Fulton County’s Board of Elections page. The interactive features will allow you to check on the status of individual precincts as well. Here’s a handy GIS map of precincts. Remember that part of the City of Atlanta is located in DeKalb County. Here’s where the county’s results should be posted.