tech vote 2020

Up-to-date information and resources to help answer questions about voting for all members of the Georgia Tech community.

Exercising the right to vote allows individuals the opportunity to engage with their local community, as well as the nation – each and every vote counts! We at Georgia Tech are here as a resource to you as you navigate the voting process.

2020 State of Georgia - Election Dates & Deadlines

  • December 1, 2020 - General Election and Special Election Runoffs for Local and State Offices
    • October 5, 2020 - Voter Registration Deadline
  • January 5, 2021 - General Election Runoff for Federal Offices
    • November 18, 2020 - Earliest day for a registrar to mail an absentee ballot for the General Election Runoff for Federal Offices
    • December 7, 2020 - Voter Registration Deadline
    • December 14, 2020 - Advanced In Person (Early) Voting begins for the General Election Runoff for Federal Offices

 

VoterTech Student Course

Find more information about the VoterTech Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Course here

If you would like to view the webpage being created by the class, you can do so here

 

Important Resources

 

Key Dates and Deadlines

 

"Your Power To Vote" Town Hall Event

This event took place on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 from 11:30am-1:00pm. You can view a recording of this event here

Below is a list of some of the frequently asked questions during the Town Hall Event. 

List of Questions by Topic: 

  • Early Voting 
  • Polling Precincts 
  • Signatures 
  • How to get involved 
  • Voter Registration & Voter ID 
  • Absentee Ballots 
  • Provisional Ballots 

 

Early Voting 

Q: Can I still vote for this early election? 

A: In Georgia early voting begins October 12 and will close October 30. There is a mandatory Saturday early voting day scheduled for October 24. Some counties may offer additional Saturday voting opportunities, but none will be open on Sundays. Check your county’s election website for details. Absentee ballots, on the other hand, are being sent now to registered voters that requested a ballot and can be returned anytime between now and November 3.  

 

Q: Will all counties hold early voting? 

A: In Georgia, yes! 

 

Polling Precincts 

Q: Will voting places be screening people for COVID symptoms? And if you are showing symptoms, will you be turned away?  Are masks required and if you don't have one or don't want to use one, will you be turned away? 

A: This is a very fluid situation. Many stations will have masks available, but there is no statewide rule that requires that masks must be worn inside the precinct. Also, poll workers will not screen for COVID symptoms (for example, no one will take your temperature). By law, no lawfully registered voter can be turned away. If you are not well or have concerns about your health, however, please consider voting by using an absentee/mail-in ballot, or exercising additional care when voting in person.

 

Q: Is it true that no photos can be taken inside a polling precinct? So many want to post pictures of themselves go through the process.

A: Correct. Photos may not be taken inside polling places, by law. You will also not be allowed to use your phone to make calls. It’s best to leave your phone in a pocket or bag while you’re in the polling place.

 

Q: Which polling stations can I go to within my county to vote? On the Stage of Georgia voter registration site, I am a registered voter, and it gives me a polling station, but also lists all other voting stations in my county. Can I go to any of them, or am I assigned to vote at the closest location? 

A: On Election Day, November 3, you must go to your assigned precinct. For early voting, October 12 - 30, you can go to any of the early voting sites in your county.  Some counties may be providing online information about wait times at different locations, and you could choose accordingly. If you’re unsure about your precinct or its voting location in Georgia, go to https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/ and enter your name, county, and birthday.  You will see your polling place and information about early voting locations and times, and about Election Day polling.

 

Q: Will there be a polling station at Georgia Tech?

A: McCamish Pavilion will be a polling precinct site on November 3 for those voters assigned to it. This will likely include any Georgia Tech student that registers to vote using their campus address. It may include other voters that reside very near to campus. The Academy of Medicine will be a polling precinct site on November 3. It likely will serve voters residing in the Midtown Atlanta area. McCamish Pavilion will also be an Early Voting site on October 22 and 23 for ALL FULTON COUNTY VOTERS. 

 

Signatures 

Q: Young people are not being taught how to write in cursive anymore.  Will printed names be used going forward? 

A: Your signature is your signature - printed or cursive. 

 

Q: If your signature on the absentee/mail-in ballot does not match the signature on your initial Voter registration, will you be given a chance to provide identification information? 

A: Under Georgia law voters will be notified if their signature cannot be verified. The voter will then be provided with instructions about how to verify their identity, and will have until 3 days after Election Day to submit a valid ID and an affidavit confirming the ballot was in fact theirs. Voters are encouraged to return absentee ballots as early as possible to allow time to correct any problems. Voters can also check the status of their absentee ballot at https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/.

 

Q: What are they matching signatures to? 

A: The signature on your voter registration form.

 

How to get involved 

Q: What are some ways we can volunteer to help? 

A: If you are at GT, you can volunteer as a Voting Team Captain to help others register to vote and to cast a vote – https://c.gatech.edu/vote-captain.

 

Q: How do I apply to help at the polls? 

A: You can apply to work as a poll worker in the county in which you reside or work. Contact the elections office in your county of residence or employment. Some counties may also be hiring for additional needs. Note for Georgia Tech employees: poll workers are not volunteers. They are paid positions. As a result, GT employees must use vacation days if working at the polls coincides with one’s normal work schedule. This includes working as a poll worker at the McCamish Pavilion site. 

 

Voter Registration & Voter Identification 

Q: I recently moved. I changed my address but my city in the voters registration system lists my city as Atlanta and my license says Brookhaven (zip code and street address are correct). Do I need to be concerned? Will I have issues voting? 

A: Ideally, the address at which you are registered to vote will match the address on your ID card. If there is sufficient time, you are encouraged to make an effort to correct any mismatch. Alternatively, some forms of valid ID, like a US Passport, do not show any address, so if that is available, you could use that form of identification. Lastly, if you have not yet changed your voter registration address, you could vote using an absentee ballot at your old address.

 

Q: Would it be the safest best to hold off changing my last name to my husband's name until after the election, since I'm registered under my maiden name? 

A: If possible, you are encouraged to wait until after the election to make changes to your identifying information.  

 

Q: What if your city on my license doesn't match what's on the secretary of state website but the rest of the address matches? Is that okay? 

A: If you notice any problem or discrepancy in your voter registration, you are encouraged to contact the county elections registrar as soon as possible and ask to have the problem corrected. 

 

Q: LGBTQIA Transgender individuals may not have an updated ID showing an updated picture.  What do you suggest they do if questioned at the poll if voting in person? 

A: To avoid problems with photo IDs, voters can vote by absentee/mail-in ballot. This may be the easiest solution. If voting in person, voters can assure poll workers that they are who they present themselves to be, but should not argue with the poll worker. In cases where a voter’s identity cannot be verified, voters should request and complete a provisional ballot and be provided with instructions about other ways in which they can assure their identity. It is the responsibility of the voter to provide this additional information, and all provisional ballots must be “cured” within 3-days after Election Day. Contact the county elections office for specific instructions. 

 

Absentee Ballots 

Q: Is there a backlog on the absentee ballots being sent out? I've heard of some taking days or a couple of weeks. 

A: The earliest day that absentee ballots could be sent out in Georgia was September 15. In Georgia, you can check the status of your absentee ballot at the My Voter Page (https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/). After you request a ballot, your status will list the date on which you requested, and then when it was issued (i.e., put in the mail). After that you should expect the normal time it takes to receive a letter in the mail. If you don’t receive your absentee ballot in a reasonable time, you can vote in person (advanced or on Election Day), but you will need to sign an affidavit affirming that you will not be using your requested absentee ballot.   

 

Q: When are absentee ballots due? 

A: Absentee ballots must be received by November 3. The best plan is to return absentee ballots as soon as possible, and use the https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/ to check that it was received. By returning an absentee ballot early, voters also will have more time to correct any problems with their ballot.

 

Q: Will GT have a drop box for any county? 

A: GT will not have any county specific drop boxes. There are strict rules that govern where drop boxes can be located (e.g., must be on government property), and must also have appropriate security.  

 

Q: I'm confused about absentee voting and why i keep getting notifications about it. I'm not absentee but should I send in an absentee ballot just to be sure I get my vote in?  Or is that not the point? 

A:  If you plan to vote in person - early or on Election Day - you do not need to request an absentee ballot and can safely ignore any further notifications. Many 3rd party organizations are sending absentee ballot applications to voters this year. If you get multiple absentee ballot applications, and want to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to you, send only one request.  For those living in Georgia, an even better practice is to use the online site https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/ to directly request an absentee ballot. This will diminish the likelihood of any errors resulting from the elections office transferring information from the paper application to its electronic system. You can then use the same website to check the status of your absentee ballot. 

 

Q: What do I do if I requested an absentee ballot but later decided that I want to vote in person? 

A:  If you request an absentee ballot and decide later that you would rather vote in person, you should take the absentee ballot with you to the polling station and surrender it there. If you do not have the ballot in hand, you will be asked to sign an affidavit affirming that you will not use the absentee ballot to vote. Under no circumstances should you vote twice.

 

Q: Are drop boxes only for Fulton? 

A: Drop boxes are for voters in that county. For example, if you are in Fulton, then you can use a Fulton County drop box. If you live in Cobb, then you should use a drop box in Cobb. Counties have recently been adding drop box locations. Check with the website for your county’s elections board for a list of drop box locations near you.

 

Provisional Ballots 

Q: How do provisional ballots work when you have a week to come back but by then on Election Day the candidate has already been announced? How does that work? 

A: Every vote counts. Yes, in some circumstances, there may not be enough provisional votes - even if they all swung one way or the other - to change the outcome of the votes that have already been counted. Nonetheless, every vote will be counted in the final tally. Some elections are decided by only a few votes one way or the other!  Provisional ballots matter. It is the responsibility of the voter to provide the additional information needed, and all provisional ballots must be “cured” within 3-days after Election Day. Contact the county elections office for specific instructions. 

 

Voter Engagement Steering Committee

The Institute Relations team is leading a campus wide project to increase voter registration and education in anticipation of the general election on November 3, 2020. Below are the members of the Voter Engagement Steering Committee:

  • Sinet Adous – Undergraduate Student Government Association
  • Richard Barke – School of Public Policy
  • Michael Chang – Brook Byers Institute of Sustainable Systems
  • Kris Chatfield – Serve Learn Sustain
  • Samuel Ellis – Undergraduate Student Government Association
  • Byron Fitch – Strategic Consulting
  • Michael Hagearty – Institute Communications
  • Janet Kinard – Alumni Association
  • Morgan McCombs – Institute Relations
  • Rachel Miller – Institute Relations
  • Laura Pusateri – Human Resources
  • Eric Reveno – Athletic Association
  • Simit Shah – Athletic Association
  • Tanesha Steward – Ethics, Compliance, & Legal Affairs
  • Sarah Strohmenger – Student Life
  • Chandler Thornhill – Graduate Student Government Association
  • Olivia Watkins – Institute Relations