Georgians Should Make Plans Now to Vote In-Person in U.S. Senate Run-off Election
Georgia voters don’t have many opportunities to cast their ballots for the Dec. 6 run-off election, with just five required early voting days allotted during the runoff’s voting period and a limited window for absentee ballots to get to voters.
Aunna Dennis, Common Cause Georgia’s executive director, advises Georgians to make plans to vote in-person during the early voting period, which begins statewide Monday, Nov. 28 through Friday, Dec. 2, or on Election Day, Dec. 6. Some counties begin early voting before the mandatory Early Voting start on Monday, Nov. 28, and voters should look up information on the state’s “My Voter Page” at https://mvp.sos.ga.gov/s/ or through their county election office.
The Dec. 6 run-off election for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat is between incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and challenger Herschel Walker (R) and is required in Georgia when no candidates capture more than half the votes. Warnock had 49.4% of votes cast, and Walker had 48.5%, as of Thursday. A Libertarian candidate, Chase Oliver, received 2.1% of the votes.
“When you’re with your family and friends this Thanksgiving, remind everyone to make a plan of how they’ll cast a ballot in the U.S. Senate race,” Dennis said. “These close races come down to one-percent margins and you could be the one percent that moves Georgia forward.”
Georgia is one of two states that require run-offs in those scenarios between the top two vote-getters, a practice rooted in the Jim Crow-era . In most other states, the person to garner the most votes is declared the winner.
Changes to the runoff process made in anti-voter laws passed by the state legislature after the 2020 election shortened the time period for run-offs to just four weeks from nine weeks and bars early voting from being held on Saturdays after state-recognized holidays. Georgia has a little-known state holiday on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which once commemorated the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, preventing Saturday early voting for this runoff.
Dennis also suggests voters that want more options to call up their county election offices and them to add early voting options on Saturday and Sundays.
“Having early voting available on a Saturday would give hard-working Georgians who work in our schools, hospitals and in our community needed flexibility,” Dennis said. “All voters need equitable access to the ballot box.”
Common Cause Georgia suggests voters plan to cast ballots in-person, after noting several issues with absentee ballots going out in time to voters during the year’s primary and general election, in addition to the anti-voter laws passed after the 2020 elections that reduced the numbers of drop boxes for ballots.
Cobb County officials discovered just days before the Nov. 8 election, for instance, that more than 1,000 requests for absentee ballots were not processed by election officials days before the Nov. 8 election, and dozens of other voters contacted the Election Protection hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE to report they never received requested ballots.
Voter Information for 2022 Run-off Election
Early voting will last just five days and begins statewide Monday, Nov. 28 through Dec. 2 There are no Saturday or weekend early voting options for this election. Voters can look up the locations of early voting sites in their county here.
After early voting ends Friday, Georgia voters can then vote in-person from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, Election Day.
Registered voters can also vote absentee but must request their ballots by Monday, Nov. 28. Online requests can be made here.
More information about absentee voting:
- Absentee ballots must be signed. Those mailed in need to be received by 7 p.m. Dec. 6. Common Cause Georgia suggests, if voters are unable to vote in person, that they use drop boxes or hand-delivering to a county registrar’s office.
- Voters can check the status of their ballot and find other information on the state’s “My Voter Page.”
- If a voter’s absentee ballot is rejected, they should contact their county election office to get more information and cure the rejection. One of the most common reasons an absentee ballot is rejected is because it has not been properly signed.
Voters who have questions or problems can contact the nonpartisan Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.