NGP’s Guide for the Georgia Primary Election

Hey Friends and happy “20-Days-Until-the-Georgia-Primary Election!” Yes, we are declaring this a national holiday (well working on it…but you get the point). Today is a big deal, because this Georgia Primary is a big deal. So, go ahead, bookmark, screenshot and copy the link to this page. Over the next 20 days this will be your go-to guide on what’s at stake for Georgia and how to best navigate voting during this health and economic crisis. This blog will be broken down into three categories: Key Dates to Remember, FAQs and “Policies at Play.”

Dates to Remember:

May 18: Early Voting Begins for Georgia’s Primary Election

May 19: 20 Days Until the Primary

May 29: “My Voice. My Vote” New Georgia Project Campaign Kickoff

This is going to be good! We will mark the final 10 days until the primary election day with several social media activations and special guests. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

May 30: Mandatory Saturday Early Voting for Georgia’s General Primary Election

June 5: Last Day for In-person Early Voting for Georgia’s Primary Election

June 5: Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot

June 8: Deadline to Return Completed Absentee Ballot

June 9: Georgia General Primary and Presidential Preference Primary Election

Georgia originally set March 24 as the date for its 2020 presidential primary, this primary was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

November 3: General Election: This includes the Presidential Election.

Yes, we know this is a while from now, but as the saying goes, “Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready!” Right? 2020 is a BIG election year and we’ll have plenty of information for you leading up to this race.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I think I’m just going to save my vote until November, because the Presidential Election is really the only one that matters. Right?

A: Sorry friend, but you’re wrong! Unfortunately, this isn’t your loyal credit card company or fuel point program, there’s no such thing as a “rollover vote.” Once you neglect to use it, your opportunity to shape your community and decide its next leaders is gone…done…never coming back.

This primary (and any election) will decide which leaders will make decisions and shape laws/policies on your behalf. Specifically, the actions of leaders at the local level impact your day-to-day—your community, your neighborhood, your local public safety officials, and more.

Q: What races will I be able to vote on during this primary election?

A: Ahhh, great question! You can also find more from your Sample Ballot located on your My Voter Page. We consider the sample ballot as the “cheat sheet” before the big day. This sample ballot is representative of the next scheduled election that you are eligible to vote and includes every person/office that you are open to vote for. You can also learn more about candidates up and down the ballot by downloading the New Georgia Project app in the iTunes Store.

Our suggestion: take the time to research the candidates you find on this sample ballot. Aim to answer these questions through your research:

  • What is their political/voting track record?
  • What is their platform? What do they stand for?

Q: Will any special elections be listed on my ballot?

A: All voters will be able to choose candidates for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, the Georgia General Assembly and local races. There are also several special elections around the state, including DeKalb County’s election for sheriff and Atlanta’s referendum on a water and sewer tax extension.

Have you heard that your city could be holding a special election on the June 9 ballot, but don’t see it on the sample ballot? If yes, contact your city directly for more information.

Q: Are there any federal-level races taking place on June 9?

A: Yes, one U.S. Senate seat will be on your ballot, which is currently held by Republican David Perdue. According to the AJC, Perdue is running for a second term that he says will be his last.

Q: Will the presidential primary be listed on my ballot?

A: Yes, the presidential primary will also be listed for voters who didn’t already cast ballots during early voting before the election was postponed March 14. There are 12 presidential candidates on Democratic Party ballots and one candidate, President Donald Trump, on Republican Party ballots.

Note, nonpartisan ballots don’t include presidential candidates in primary elections.

Q: How does the Absentee Ballot Application process work?

A: After you receive your application in the mail, select your political party, complete the application and sign your name. From there, mail or email the form to the county election office’s address printed on the form. Then, according to the AJC, your county’s election workers will process the requests, and the secretary of state’s office will send you to another company, Arizona-based Runbeck Election Services, who is responsible for mailing absentee ballots to voters.

Once received, you can fill out your ballot and mail it to your county election offices. Ballots will be stored until Election Day. Remember to leave enough time for ballots to be mailed and returned. Ballots must be received by county election offices before polls close on Election Day to be counted. (We’re suing to change that law by the way.)

If you didn’t receive your absentee ballot application, download one here and return it by June 5.

Q: I was ahead of the game, I sent my Absentee Ballot Application early, but I have yet to receive my absentee ballot. What’s up with that?

A: It SHOULD be on the way, according to some of Georgia’s largest counties that are experiencing backlogs. You can check whether your ballot has been mailed, received and accepted on your My Voter Page.

Q: Will there be any in-person votng or is this primary mail-in only?

A: Yes, there will be in-person voting, as is required by Georgia State law. These in-person polling places must remain open during three weeks of early voting starting May 18 and on election day June 9. Visit your My Voter Page to learn where you can vote in-person.

Q: Has the New Georgia Project done anything to advocate for a fair primary voting process?

A: In addition to our ongoing advocacy and awareness efforts, on May 9, the New Georgia Project filed a lawsuit that:

✅ Asks that the Georgia Secretary of State’s office count ballots postmarked by June 9, versus only counting those received by June 9

✅ Calls for free ballot postage

✅ Allows groups like NGP to turn in ballots for voters

✅ Requires better notification to voters when their absentee ballots are rejected

Q: How do I get more involved with NGP?

A: Let’s connect! Contact us today and share where you’d like to contribute. Not sure? That’s not a problem; we will help you navigate all of NGP’s engagement opportunities.

You can also download the New Georgia Project phone app (Apple or Android). This unique “civic technology” space delivers critical information about upcoming elections — right at your fingertips — and features local news and commentary to become an active, confident and educated voter.

For more FAQ’s check out this extensive list created by the AJC.