Your Vote's Safety in Georgia
Voter Laws and Registration Deadlines
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Be a legal resident of Georgia and of the county in which you want to vote
- Be 18 years old within six months after the day of registration, and be 18 years old by election day
- Not be serving a sentence for having been convicted of a felony
- Not have been judicially determined to be mentally incompetent, unless the disability has been removed
- STRICT PHOTO ID REQUIRED — approved by DOJ in 2005
- Early Voting in Person or by Mail
Registration Deadline: The fifth Monday before any general primary, general election, or presidential preference primary, or regularly scheduled special election pursuant to the Georgia Election Code. In the event that a special election is scheduled on a date other than those dates prescribed by the Georgia Election Code, registration would close on the 5th day after the call.
State Election Information
State Legislature Page
A Great Win for Election Integrity
Judge Upholds 3 States' Proof of Citizenship for Voter Registration
Non-Citizen Voting Case Pits Justice Department Against States that Require Proof-of-Citizenship
A Big Win for Election Integrity
Obama Administration Fighting Efforts to Keep Non-Citizens from Voting
Arizona Ruling Partly Blocks Georgia Voter ID Law
News & Commentary
A Great Win for Election Integrity | 06/30/16
By Hans von Spakovsky
(June 30) Yesterday was a great day for election integrity and everyone (other than the Obama administration and its political allies) who wants to make sure non-citizens don't illegally vote in our elections.
Federal district-court judge Richard Leon issued an order Wednesday refusing to grant the injunction sought by the League of Women Voters (and the U.S. Justice Department to its everlasting shame) against the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in litigation over a state requirement that individuals registering to vote provide proof of citizenship.
As I previously explained to readers of The Corner in February, several well-funded groups including the League and the NAACP filed a lawsuit trying to reverse a decision by the EAC granting the requests of Kansas, Georgia, and Alabama to modify the instructions on the federal voter registration form. The modification would notify residents of those states that they have to provide proof of citizenship if they use the federal form to register to vote.
The U.S. Justice Department, which is charged with defending federal agencies when they are sued, tried instead to throw the case. It came into court, to Judge Leon's great surprise, attempting to concede the case and agreeing to the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction the plaintiffs wanted. Commissioner Christy McCormick, the chairwoman of the EAC, was so concerned over the Justice Department's misbehavior and potentially unethical conduct, that she sent a letter to Leon asking for permission to get outside counsel to represent the EAC. She expressed her "grave concerns regarding the potential conflict of interest and failure of the Department of justice to provide" the EAC with proper representation.
DOJ later requested (and got) a protective order sealing her deposition, which apparently included discussions of DOJ's potentially improper behavior and prior involvement in EAC decision-making. Makes you wonder what DOJ wants to hide. In February, Leon denied the request for a temporary restraining order. Yesterday in a 25-page opinion, he also denied the request for a preliminary injunction -- the same injunction the Justice Department wanted to agree to when it tried to lose the case.
Leon held that the plaintiffs had not proved they will suffer an irreparable harm from this change in instructions on the federal registration form. He obviously did not put much stock in their claim that this would damage them because their voter registration drives would be less successful and require more effort on their part to educate the public about the fact that you have to be a citizen to register to vote. But as Leon said, "let's be candid; doing so pales in comparison to explaining to the average citizen how the ACA or tax code works!"
Read more of ACRU Policy Board member Hans von Spakovsky's National Review article.
Judge Upholds 3 States' Proof of Citizenship for Voter Registration | 06/30/16
Residents of Kansas, Georgia and Alabama will have to prove they are U.S. citizens when registering to vote for federal elections using a national form, a judge ruled Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon sided against a coalition of voting rights groups that sued a U.S. elections official who changed the proof-of-citizenship requirements on the federal registration form at the request of the three states and without public notice. Residents of other states only need to swear that they are citizens, not show proof.
Leon refused to issue a temporary injunction sought by voting rights advocates to overturn the move by Brian Newby, the executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, until the case can be decided on its merits at trial. No trial date has been set.
Non-Citizen Voting Case Pits Justice Department Against States that Require Proof-of-Citizenship | 03/15/16
By Hans von Spakovsky
The free-for-all boxing match between the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, Kansas, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) resumed on Wednesday, March 9.
They're tussling over the right of states to require proof-of-citizenship from people using the federal voter registration form.
In Courtroom 18 of the D.C. federal courthouse, Judge Richard Leon presided over a sometimes contentious hearing on the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction that would rescind the Election Assistance Commission's change of the instructions on the federal voter registration form to accommodate a request by Kansas. The Sunflower State wants the form to note that Kansans wishing to register must meet a proof-of-citizenship requirement.
At the first hearing in this case on Feb. 22, Leon refused to grant a temporary restraining order requested by the League of Women Voters and the NAACP, the plaintiffs who don't want the Election Assistance Commission to mention proof-of-citizenship.
Justice Department Unwilling to Defend Election Assistance Commission
Normally, the Justice Department would be expected to defend the Election Assistance Commission in court. Instead, the Justice Department lawyers tried to throw the case by agreeing to a temporary restraining order. Leon expressed astonishment at the Department of Justice's behavior, calling it "unprecedented" and "extraordinary."
Rather than take that as a warning about the Department of Justice's potentially unethical and unprofessional behavior in refusing to carry out its duty to defend its client, the Federal Programs Branch came into this week's hearing once again trying to lose the case.
Read more of ACRU Policy Board member Hans von Spakovsky's Daily Signal article.
Faulty Data Fuel Challenges to Voter ID Laws | 03/07/16
By Don Palmer
The use of photo identification to confirm the identity of voters serves an essential election security function in America's polling places and boosts citizens' confidence in the voting process.
In perhaps their most prevalent means of attack, opponents of laws requiring photo ID greatly exaggerate the number of voters without a valid ID. In legislative, litigation, and public relations battles, opponents use wildly inflated numbers in an attempt both to portray these laws as burdensome and to gain partisan electoral advantage.
They cite a highly inflated number of voters who do not possess a driver's license as the universal number of those who are not able to vote, even though, under all state photo ID laws, various other forms of ID, such as federal and state government IDs, U.S. passports, tribal IDs, or even employer-issued or university student IDs, are also acceptable.
Read Heritage Foundation report.
A Big Win for Election Integrity | 02/24/16
By Hans A. von Spakovsky
Electoral integrity has scored big -- District of Columbia federal district court Judge Richard Leon just issued an order denying the request by the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and the U.S. Justice Department for a temporary restraining order (TRO). Thus, there will be no TRO preventing the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) from instructing residents of Alabama, Georgia, and Kansas that they must comply with state laws requiring proof-of-citizenship when they register to vote.
Judge Leon said in a four-page order that because "the registration deadlines for the Alabama and Georgia primaries and for the Kansas Republican Caucus had already passed at the time this TRO motion was filed . . . and that the effects of the [EAC's] actions on the ongoing registration process for the Kansas Democratic Caucus . . . are uncertain at best, plaintiffs have not demonstrated they will suffer irreparable harm" before the scheduled March 9 hearing on the request for a Preliminary Injunction. Judge Leon was also "not yet convinced that plaintiffs have demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits and looks forward to the benefit of full, adversarial briefing on the complex and important issues this case presents."
This is a tremendous victory, particularly given the questionable conduct of the Justice Department, which came into court on Monday refusing to defend the actions of the EAC and saying it would consent not only to a TRO, but to a preliminary injunction. Judge Leon castigated DOJ during the hearing and added a footnote to his four-page order about the behavior of Justice after he said he expects a "full, adversarial briefing."
Read more of ACRU Policy Board member Hans von Spakovsky's National Review article.
Obama Administration Fighting Efforts to Keep Non-Citizens from Voting | 02/21/16
By Hans von Spakovsky
Several well-funded organizations -- including the League of Women Voters and the NAACP -- are fighting efforts to prevent non-citizens from voting illegally in the upcoming presidential election. And the United States Department of Justice, under the direction of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, is helping them.
On February 12, these groups filed a lawsuit in D.C. federal court seeking to reverse a recent decision by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The Commission's decision allows Kansas and other states, including Arizona and Georgia, to enforce state laws ensuring that only citizens register to vote when they use a federally designed registration form.
An initial hearing in the case is set for Monday afternoon, February 22. Under federal law, the EAC is responsible for designing the federal voter-registration form required by the National Voter Registration Act, or Motor Voter, as it is commonly called. While states must register voters who use the federal form, states can ask the EAC to include instructions with the federal form about additional state registration requirements. Some states are now requiring satisfactory proof of citizenship to ensure that only citizens register to vote.
Read more of ACRU Policy Board member Hans von Spakovsky's National Review article.
No Vote Fraud? Here Are Five Cases in 2015 | 07/15/15
By Hans von Spakovsky (ACRU Policy Board member) and Brandon Johnson
Despite being only six months into 2015, there have already been a slew of sometimes bizarre stories about voter fraud across the country. They show just how far some people will go to cheat the system. Here are a few of the most outlandish stories:
1. Madison County, Ga.
Mohammad Shafiq of Madison County, Georgia, was none too happy with Madison County sheriff candidate Clayton Lowe.
So Shafiq started campaigning for the other candidate by submitting fraudulent voter registration cards supposedly for new voters, apparently intending to eventually vote under those registrations.
When the fraud was detected, he coerced a couple to sign affidavits falsely saying they had registered themselves.
He was charged with two counts of voter identification fraud, two counts of perjury, and three counts of tampering with evidence.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years probation and a fine of $6,750.
Read more in the Daily Signal.
Georgia Secretary of State Probing Possible Vote Fraud | 09/10/14
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) said Tuesday his office was investigating allegations of voter fraud by a group led by the state's Democratic House minority leader that it believes may have forged voter registration documents and signatures and filled out voter applications with false information.
Kemp said in a memo obtained by WSBTV that his office has received complaints about the group in five counties in northern Georgia outside Atlanta -- Barow, Butts, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Henry, and Muscogee -- and sent subpoenas to the New Georgia Project and Third Sector Development, its parent organization, led by Georgia Rep. Stacey Abrams (D).
"We're just not going to put up with fraud," Kemp told WSBTV. "I mean, we have zero tolerance for that in Georgia, so we've opened an investigation and served some subpoenas."
Resisting the Siren Song of Voting 'Reform' | 06/09/14
As the nation gears up for crucial midterm congressional elections in November, another "reform" proposal has emerged, with lawmakers hearing the predictable siren song of "go along, or be accused of racism."
That's a scary threat when a charge of racial bigotry -- real or imagined -- has enormous power.
In such a hothouse liberal-media culture, Democrats have managed to persuade an ordinarily sensible Republican, Wisconsin's Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., to take leave of his senses and sponsor this bad legislation.
The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (H.R. 3899, S. 1945) was introduced in January as a response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder on June 25, 2013, invalidating one part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Liberals are pressuring congressional leaders of both parties to enact this legislative "fix."
On June 4, more than 80 liberal religious groups sent a letter to Congress urging passage.
The original law required the U.S. Justice Department or a D.C.-based federal court panel to preclear any voting-law changes in nine mostly Southern states and local jurisdictions in six others. Enacted with huge majorities in both houses of Congress, the statute eliminated Jim Crow laws that had discriminated against blacks since the days of Reconstruction after the Civil War. The law was a crucial, effective component of the civil rights campaign to end racial discrimination.
In recent years, however, evidence has piled up that Section 5 is being abused by a politicized Justice Department. The Supreme Court rightly noted that Section 4, which justified and required unequal treatment of some states under Section 5, could no longer pass constitutional muster because it relied on nearly 50-year-old, obsolete data.
Read more of Robert Knight's Washington Times column,
Sensenbrenner Caught on Camera Denying Text of Own Voter Law | 03/18/14
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R., Wisc.) told constituents at Wisconsin town halls that voting-rights legislation he is sponsoring does not exclude white voters from the protection of the Voting Rights Act. Sensenbrenner also says he is proud to work with the ACLU and far-left groups to pass the legislation that would resurrect Attorney General Eric Holder's powers to block state election laws such as voter ID or citizenship verification.
In a video from Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe, Sensenbrenner also accused Texas and Georgia Republicans of trying to stop minorities from voting.
Read more of J. Christian Adams' article at NRO.
Primaries Offer First Test of New Voter ID Laws | 03/03/14
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In elections that begin this week, voters in 10 states will be required to present photo identification before casting ballots -- the first major test of voter ID laws after years of legal challenges arguing that the measures are designed to suppress voting.
The first election is March 4 in Texas, followed by nine other primaries running through early September that will set the ballot for the midterm elections in November, when voters decide competitive races for governor and control of Congress.
The primaries will be closely watched by both sides of the voter ID debate, which intensified in 2011, the year after Republicans swept to power in dozens of statehouses.
States Seek Right to Ask New Voters for Citizenship Proof | 01/22/14
States are vowing to go to the courts for permission to ask newly registered voters to show proof of citizenship after a federal commission ruled on Jan. 17 that it's up to the national government, not states, to decide what to include on registration forms.
Under the motor-voter law, federal officials distribute voter-registration forms in all of the states. Arizona, Kansas and Georgia all asked that those forms request proof of citizenship, but the federal Election Assistance Commission rejected that in a 46-page ruling released late Friday, just ahead of a court-imposed deadline.
Holder: Feds Will Sue over Voter ID, but Not over Weed | 09/04/13
Mississippi columnist Sid Salter: Seems U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is fully prepared to sue Southern states over Voter ID laws, but is not willing to sue Colorado and Washington in their efforts to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana.
Holder's logic is apparently that while states should have lots of leeway on how they deal with enforcement of federal laws against smoking and selling weed, states should not have that same leeway when it comes to efforts to fight perceived voter fraud.
Arizona Ruling Partly Blocks Georgia Voter ID Law | 07/02/13
Last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling partly blocks Georgia from enforcing a law requiring would-be voters to prove U.S. citizenship, Secretary of State Brian Kemp said.
In a 7-2 decision on June 24, the court ruled a similar statute in Arizona is pre-empted by federal law. Passed in 2009, Georgia's law requires voter registration applicants to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, such as copies of passports or birth certificates.
Betrayal by Any Other Name | 03/19/12
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published March 19, 2012 in The Washington Times.
What would you call it if some Americans went overseas to the United Nations Human Rights Council and gave aid and comfort to some of the most repressive regimes on the planet?
What if they falsely accused America of suppressing the vote of racial minorities because some states require voter photo ID and other measures to deter fraud?
I'd call it "treason," but you also could say it's just liberal politics as usual.
Continue reading “Betrayal by Any Other Name”.
Lessons from the Voter ID Experience in Georgia | 03/19/12
The latest data compiled by the Secretary of State of Georgia, Brian Kemp, about the state's experience with voter ID once again shows that the claims by opponents of voter ID are wrong.
Click here for full article.
Voter Fraud in This Life and the Next | 02/17/12
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published February 17, 2012 in The Washington Times.
Did you know that according to a new Pew study, more than 1.8 million dead people are registered to vote? And that leading Democrats are fiercely opposing new laws that tighten voting requirements?
This tells us, just as we suspected, that the zombie population is becoming a major Democratic constituency.
Continue reading “Voter Fraud in This Life and the Next”.
Voter ID Terrifies Democrats | 12/30/11
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published December 30, 2011 in The Washington Times.
The most consequential election in our lifetime is still 10 months away, but it's clear from the Obama administration's order halting South Carolina's new photo ID law that the Democrats already have brought a gun to a knife fight.
How else to describe this naked assault on the right of a state to create minimal requirements to curb vote fraud?
On Dec. 23, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez sent a letter ordering South Carolina to stop enforcing its photo ID law. Mr. Perez, who heads the Civil Rights Division that booted charges against the New Black Panther Party for intimidating voters in Philadelphia in 2008, said South Carolina's law would disenfranchise thousands of minority voters.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson rejected Mr. Perez's math and explained on Fox News why the law is necessary. The state Department of Motor Vehicles audited a state Election Commission report that said 239,333 people were registered to vote but had no photo ID. The DMV found that 37,000 were deceased, more than 90,000 had moved to other states, and others had names not matched to IDs. That left only 27,000 people registered without a photo ID but who could vote by signing an affidavit as to their identity.
Continue reading “Voter ID Terrifies Democrats”.
Playing the Race Card before Election Day | 12/16/11
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published December 16, 2011 in The Washington Times.
Is it racist to require people to show a photo ID when they vote? You need a photo ID for nearly any meaningful transaction, such as cashing checks, including government checks. If this simple requirement "suppresses" the vote, maybe we need to ask why it's such a great idea to push for universal suffrage for every adult who is merely breathing.
Of course, even this latter requirement would suppress the vote in Chicago and New Orleans, where dead people get to vote all the time - and do so cheerfully.
In a speech Tuesday at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. warned that recent state reforms, such as requiring photo IDs, might repress the minority vote. He said the Justice Department was reviewing photo ID laws just enacted in Texas and South Carolina and early-voting procedures in Florida.
The overall implication of his otherwise elegant speech commemorating passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is that tightening voter requirements is more of a threat to the integrity of the system than vote fraud.
Continue reading “Playing the Race Card before Election Day”.