SB 202 Changes

sb 202 - what's new for voters?

Senate Bill 202 was adopted by the Georgia General Assembly in 2021 and brings about a number of changes for voters.

ABSENTEE BALLOTS

OLD WAY:
Prior to the passage of SB 202, signature verification was the primary means of checking voter identity for absentee ballots. Also, absentee ballots could be requested up until the Friday before Election Day. Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) ballots were required to go into the mail 45 days before Election Day. Other ballots-by-mail could be mailed following the UOCAVA mailing.

NEW WAY:
Under the new law, voters who wish to cast their ballot by absentee ballot must:
• Provide their Driver’s License number or other forms of voter ID specified on the absentee ballot form.
• Request their ballot at least 11 days before the election. The absentee ballot request deadline for the November 2 Election will be October 22.
• Use the updated absentee ballot form.
• Although UOCAVA ballots have the same deadline for the initial mailing, other ballots-by-mail can be sent no sooner than 30 days before Election Day, depending upon election type.
DROP BOXES

OLD WAY:
Absentee ballot drop boxes were introduced in Georgia in 2020 as a place where voters could deposit their absentee ballots. Boxes were placed outdoors under 24/7 video surveillance and were available 24 hours per day up until 7 p.m. on Election Day. Fulton County had 38 absentee ballot drop boxes.

NEW WAY:
Under the new law, counties may have a maximum of one box per 100,000 registered voters. Fulton County is allowed eight absentee ballot drop boxes.
Boxes are located indoors in early voting locations. The boxes are only available during early voting hours. This means that the drop boxes will be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from October 12 through 29. The absentee ballot drop boxes will NOT be accessible to voters after October 29.
PROVISIONAL BALLOTS

OLD WAY:
Prior to the passage of SB 202, voters who went to the wrong precinct to vote on Election Day could cast a provisional ballot and cast a ballot for any races at that precinct for which they were eligible.

NEW WAY:
Under the new law, any provisional ballot cast by a voter in the wrong precinct will ONLY COUNT if it is cast after 5 p.m. This resulted in changes to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-418.

Voters who go to the wrong precinct before 5 p.m. will be directed to their correct precinct.

That’s why it’s more important than ever for voters to check their correct precinct before going to the polls on Election Day. Go to the Georgia My Voter page and make sure you go to the correct poll so your vote will be counted.
MOBILE VOTING

OLD WAY:
In 2020 Fulton County introduced mobile voting units to expand early voting.

NEW WAY:
Under SB 202, mobile voting units can only be used during a declared disaster.
POLL WORKERS

OLD WAY:
In the past, poll workers were required to be residents of Fulton County, or employees of the County.

NEW WAY:
After new changes to Code Section 21-2-92, poll workers can serve in an adjoining county, as long as the county where they reside is able to fully complete their election duties.