Fact vs. Fiction: 8 things Georgians should know about early voting

Fact vs. Fiction: This is what you need to know about early voting

Voting can be confusing so we took some of the common misconceptions and the most asked questions to the Secretary of State’s office to get answer from Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s Voting implementation manager. Here’s what you need to know.

For a Georgia Voter’s Guide and breakdowns of the key races, visit our Election 2020 section.

What are the best times to vote during the next three weeks?

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The best thing to take advantage of is the early voting time, really starting towards the middle of the week, all the way into the second week of early voting.

During the last week before election day, people get a little antsy and they start showing up and we see heavier numbers again.

What do you recommend for voters concerned with the status of their mailings, slash absentee ballot? How do I check my absentee ballot status?

They can go on to our newly launched ballot tracking site, and they can put in their cell phone number or their email address and get notifications saying what the status of their absentee ballot is.

Where can people find shorter lines for early voting?

Some counties share estimated wait time information on their social media or their websites.

In almost all the metro counties, there’s another location within one to three miles that might have a shorter line.

Can I vote early in person if I’ve already requested an absentee ballot?

Yes, you can. You just have to go into the in-person voting booth and tell them to cancel your absentee. We really do suggest if you want to do that, that you take advantage of the early voting opportunities.

If I voted absentee during the primaries, do I have to vote absentee come November?

No, you don’t. You have all three voting options available to you: absentee, early voting and on election day.

Which signature does the Secretary of State use to verify valid signatures? And who does that checking?

The counties are the ones accepting your ballot, so they’re going to look in their online system and at their paper records to verify those signatures.

What if I didn’t sign the same way 20 years ago as I signed now?

Most people have updated signatures attached to their driver’s licenses. Very rarely do we ever see where there’s not a signature match when there’s a genuine look at it, because we have training on that for the county level officials.

Is my vote safer in person?

In our opinion, all three ways to vote in the state, early absentee or Election Day voting, are all safe. But if you have a genuine concern about an absentee vote, you can drop it off at a dropbox. If you really want to vote in person, you can watch that ballot drop into the actual ballot box. You can go early in person or you can go on election day.

Do big early voting numbers favor one party over the other?