In 2006, Georgia made changes to its election laws that mandated voters have a form of picture identification in order to provide for the safest and securest elections possible. Because the state recognized that not every Georgia voter has a drivers’ license, six different forms of ID are accepted at the polling place:
• A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired
• Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free voter ID card issued by your county registrar or Department of Drivers Services
• Valid U.S. passport
• 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. military photo ID
• Valid tribal photo ID
Georgia also offers traditional absentee voting by mail without a picture ID that is secured by triple signature verification.
Provisional voting allows you to cast a ballot in person even if all the requirements for doing so cannot be met at the time. If you can provide a proper form of ID, you can return to their county elections office by Friday of that week and their vote will be counted. No voter is turned away from the polls because they do not have an acceptable form of ID.
Georgia has been able to strike a balance between security and accessibility with the voter ID regulation. Between 2004 and 2008 when the photo ID law was implemented, Georgia has seen an 8 percent increase in white votes, a 42 percent increase in African-American votes and a 140 percent increase in Hispanic votes.
Because of the hard work of local boards of election in concert with the Secretary of State’s Office, Georgians were informed and have showed up ready to vote in record numbers.
In addition, early voting has given Georgian’s another option when it comes convenient ways to cast your ballot. You can log into our Office’s “My Voter Page” (http://mvp.sos.state.ga.us/), and determine where to cast your ballot early or on Election Day. This option is available on weekdays until July 27 and on Saturday, July 21. Primary Election Day is Tuesday, July 31.
At the Secretary of State’s Office, we are working night and day to make sure that Georgians have many options to make their voice heard in 2012 and are here to help. You can reach us at 404-656-2871 or 24 hours a day at www.sos.ga.gov.