Georgia votes: Here is everything you need to know when heading to the polls

ATLANTA — Georgia voters have already shown up in record numbers to vote in this year’s election, with more than 2 million voters casting ballots early with several big races to be decided.

One thing you should prepare for if you are voting on Election Day is the possibility of long lines.

On Election Day, you must vote at your designated polling place. Polling places are open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Remember, as long as you are in line by 7 p.m., you are allowed to vote.

You can look up where to vote on the My Voter Page on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website or by contacting your County Board of Registrar’s Office.

Channel 2 Action News will have LIVE election coverage throughout the day. Channel 2 and ABC News will have live Election Night coverage starting at 8 p.m. and on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m.

What to bring

  • You will need to show photo ID to vote in Georgia. Acceptable forms include: 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; 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; a valid U.S. passport ID; a valid U.S. military photo ID; a student photo ID card issued by a Georgia public college, university or technical school; or a valid tribal photo ID.
  • Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot. If you are a first-time voter, you will need to provide a copy of your ID within three days after the election to your County Board of Elections and Registration. As long as you do so, your provisional ballot will be counted, as long as you are otherwise eligible to vote.

Other things to know

  • Attire — Georgia state law bans campaigning within 150 feet of a polling place. That includes clothing that supports a political candidate. If you are wearing clothing with a candidate’s name or slogan on it, you could be turned away.
  • Provisional ballots — If you show up to your polling place but have not met all the requirements listed above, you have the right to request a provisional ballot. Your vote will count as long as you resolve the eligibility issues within three days after Election Day. Learn more about provisional ballots.
  • Request voter assistance if you need it – If you require special assistance to vote or to access your polling place, contact your County Board of Registrar’s Office for help.
  • Update any information – If you move, you must file a notice of your new address in writing to your County Board of Registrar’s Office or submit a new voter registration application.


Problems at the polls

While most experiences casting a ballot are pretty straightforward, problems at polling places can happen.

Volunteers at polling places are trained to help voters get their ballots to the right place and to take a person’s ballot even if they are having problems casting their vote.

If you are having a problem voting, tell someone.

Talk to a poll worker before you finish voting.

If you do not get help from a poll worker, ask to speak to a supervisor.

If your problem is not resolved, you can report the issue to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The phone number to call to report an issue with voting is (800) 253-3931.

What kind of problems should be reported?

  • Polls closing early (meaning they close even if you were in line to vote before closing time)
  • Not having enough ballots
  • Being intimidated or pressured to vote for a particular candidate
  • Challenging identification — Thirty-four states require voter identification to cast a ballot; of them, 18 require voters to present photo identification and 16 accept other forms of identification. Click here to find out what your state requires before you vote.
  • Dealing with ballots that are confusing
  • No help or lack of help with voting procedures for people with limited ability to speak English
  • No accommodations for handicapped voters

What should you do if you are turned away without casting a ballot?

If you do not have the proper identification to vote at your polling place, you should be given a provisional ballot.

A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a voter’s eligibility.

Provisional ballots are the same ballot you would get under regular circumstances.

It allows you to vote, then election officials will work to verify your eligibility to cast a ballot.

Per federal law, poll workers are required to give you a provisional ballot.

What if you make a mistake when filling out your ballot?

If you make a mistake when voting, go to a poll worker and ask for help.

You will be given a new ballot. The ballot with the mistake will be destroyed.

In many cases, you can correct your ballot yourself if you vote using electronic voting devices.

Again, ask for help from a poll worker if you need to make changes in your ballot and are unsure how to do it.