My Vote Georgia: What’s new to elections in 2022?
The 2022 Midterm Election will decide serval key races in Georgia. SB 202, also known as the Election Integrity Act of 2021, changed some operations for elections in the state.
The changes brought controversy. Republicans, who crafted the bill, say it increases election security. Democrats say it creates more hoops for voters to jump through before casting a ballot. Regardless, the bill made some changes to traditional voting procedures.
Here’s how 2022 elections will differ from previous years:
How to vote absentee in Georgia
Voters can mail, fax, email (as an attachment) or drop off in-person absentee ballot applications to their county registrar. Your County Board of Registrar’s Office is available online.
To vote by mail in Georgia, voters must provide Driver’s License number or other forms of voter ID. Voters without a state-issued ID must include a photocopy of a utility bill, pay check or government check. The ballot must be submitted at least 11 days before the election, meaning the deadline for 2022 midterms is October 22.
Previously, Georgia used signature match to verify ballots and absentee ballots could be requested up until the Friday before Election Day.
Acceptable voter ID
The Georgia Secretary of State’s office considers these documents valid forms of voter ID:
- Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar's office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
- A Georgia Driver's License, even if expired
- Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
- Valid U.S. passport ID
- Valid U.S. military photo ID
- Valid tribal photo ID
Georgia offers free voter ID cards at any county registrar’s office or Department of Driver’s Services. These documents must be provided:
- A photo identity document or approved non-photo identity document that includes full legal name and date of birth.
- Documentation showing the voter's date of birth.
- Evidence that the applicant is a registered voter.
- Documentation showing the applicant's name and residential address.
Absentee ballots may require documents that show your name and address without valid voter ID:
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- Other government document
Voting drop boxes in Georgia
There are still ballot drop boxes in Georgia (for now) but there are fewer than during the 2020 election.
Each county will have one box per 100,000 registered voters.
The ballot boxes are available indoors in early voting locations during early voting hours.
There 17 days of early in-person voting in Georgia. Early voting for November 2022 midterms will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from October 12 through 29.
Two Saturdays are required during early voting, and counties can offer two Sunday voting days as well.
Previous laws mandated at least one weekend day of early voting.
A runoff still applies if no elector can secure a majority of votes. The time for early voting in runoffs is shorter under new Georgia Election laws. According to the bill, early voting begins "as soon as possible" but no later than the second Monday before the election, possibly leaving as little as five weekdays and no weekend days of early voting.
The early voting periods previously lasted three weeks before runoffs.
New laws make it more important for voters to find their correct precinct. Voters who go to the wrong precinct before 5 p.m. on Election Day cannot cast a provisional ballot and must go to their correct precinct.
Provisional ballots only count if a voter casts it after 5 p.m.
Registered voters can find their precinct on the My Voter page.
Delivering relatives’ ballots
Georgia law provides an exception allowing people to drop off ballots on behalf of their relatives. Caregivers can deliver ballots for disabled people and jail employees can deliver ballots for inmates.
Georgia code states a ballot envelope "shall then be securely sealed and the elector shall then personally mail or personally deliver same to the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk, provided that mailing or delivery may be made by the elector’s mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, spouse, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, or an individual residing in the household of such elector."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.