Elections & Voter Registration
The Elections & Registration Department, with oversight from the Habersham County Board of Elections and Registration, enforces strict adherence to all current Federal, State and Local laws as well as to State Election Board Rules concerning registering to vote and voting, and serves all residents in election-related matters.
As a resident of Habersham County and a citizen of the United States, register to vote, vote in every election and let your voice be heard. You may vote in a particular election if you registered to vote by the registration deadline. Registration deadline is the fifth Monday prior to the election, unless that day is a holiday, then it would be moved to the next day. You must be registered 30 days before each election.
Mandated Voter Registration Sites Include:
- Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety Driver's Services
- Department of Human Resources' Public Assistance Offices (WICS, DFACS, Rehab)
- Public Libraries
- Recruitment Offices
- County courthouses and city halls
- Elections and Voter Registration Office
- Colleges and high schools for students and personnel
In addition to the above sites, the State of Georgia now offers online voter registration.
Qualifications to register to vote:
- Be at least 17½ years old to register, 18 years old to vote
- Be a legal resident of the county in which you register
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Not be serving a sentence for a conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude
- Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge.
In the State of Georgia, you do not have to register by political party to vote in the regular primaries or general elections.
You may register to vote at any time, but you must be registered by the close of registration prior to an election if you wish to vote on election day, i.e., the application must be postmarked by the voter registration deadline.
If you are registering for the first time in Georgia, new federal legislation mandates that you must submit one of the six appropriate pieces of identification by mailing a copy of the identification with your voter registration application, providing a copy of the identification to the registrar during the absentee voting process or by showing one of the six pieces of acceptable identification or one of the other four pieces which may be used one time by the first-time registered voter. For more information, click here.
Change of residence
Voters are required to notify the board of registrars of their county of residence whenever they move.
If you move within the same county in which you are registered to vote and don't notify the registrar at least 30 days prior to an election, you may vote in your old polling place for that election. You must file a notice of your new address. This can be done by writing your county board of registrars' office, or by submitting a new voter registration application.
If you move outside the county in which you are registered to vote within 30 days of an election, you may vote in your old precinct for that election.
If you move outside the county in which you are registered to vote in excess of 30 days prior to an election, you have lost your eligibility to vote in the county of your old residence. You must register to vote in your new county of residence. If you don't register to vote by the deadline, you cannot vote in that particular election.
If you have misplaced or have not received your precinct card within two to three weeks of submitting your application, please contact the registration office. Visit the Secretary of State's poll locator on their web site to check your registration status.
Where and When to Vote
Each voter must vote at the polling place designated for the precinct in which the voter lives. The location of your polling place is located on your precinct card. If you have misplaced your card or do not know where your precinct is located, contact the voter registration office or visit the Secretary of State's My Voter Page and use the poll locator.
When can I vote on election day ?
Go to your polling place between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election. However, any voter who is waiting in line at 7:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
You will be required to present photo identification if you cast your vote in person at your polling place. There aresix acceptable forms of photo identification which apply to in-person voting by absentee, advance voting or at the polling place on Election Day. These include:
- Valid Georgia driver’s license, even if expired
- Valid photo ID card issued by any entity of the state of Georgia, any other state, or the U.S. , including one issued by the Department of Driver Services or your county registrar’s office
- 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 ID card with Photo
- Valid Tribal ID with photo
If the voter does not have a Georgia driver’s license, or other qualified ID, he oir she can obtain either a FREE Georgia Identification Card from the Department of Driver Services or a FREE Georgia Voter Identification Card at the County registrar’s office.
In order to get a FREE Georgia Voter Identification Card, a voter will need to provide the following:
- A photo identity document, or a non-photo identity document showing the voter’s full legal name and date of birth; and
- Documentation showing voter’s date of birth; and
- Evidence that voter is registered to vote in Georgia; and
- Documentation showing voter’s name and address of principal residence.
The precinct card sent to you to acknowledge your voter registration is not acceptable identification.
When you arrive at your polling place, you will complete a voter's certificate which asks for your name and residence address. You will then present the certificate and proper identification to the poll officials who will verify that you are a registered voter in that precinct by checking the voters list for that precinct. If your name is found on the list, you will be issued a voter access card and admitted into a voting booth to cast your vote.
You will then cast your ballot using an electronic voting unit. After you cast your ballot the machine will automatically eject the voter access card and you will return the card to a poll official. Instructions on how to operate the electronic voting unit are posted at each polling place and you may ask a poll official for assistance.
Absentee Ballot Voting
Georgia Voters do not need a reason for voting absentee by mail. You may request an Absentee Ballot up to 180 days prior to the date of the Election. You must file a separate application for each election for which you are requesting an absentee ballot. (*See exceptions below for voters over the age of 65, disabled voters, or military or overseas citizens).
Applications must contain the address as registered. If you have moved you need to update your address prior to the voter Registration deadline. You can check and or update your address at the following website: www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. Sufficient information to identify you as a voter, and the election in which you wish to vote, is required.
If you are applying for a primary ballot, you must designate a political party. In a General Election no party is required.
If you are physically disabled or are living temporarily outside of your county of residence, a close relative may apply for an absentee ballot for you. Also, if you are 65 or older or disabled, you may (if you desire) complete one application and receive absentee ballots for the primary, primary runoff, general and general runoff.
The last day to apply for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you or to vote absentee in person is the Friday prior to the Election.
** PLEASE NOTE: A SEPARATE APPLICATION IS REQUIRED FOR A PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY.
Voted Absentee ballots, must be signed and completed on the back of the envelope and received by the county Board of Registrars' Office, on or before Election Day. No absentee ballots will be issued on the day before or the day of an election. You can however, vote in person at your Polling place on Election Day.
Completed Absentee Ballot Applications may be mailed, faxed, emailed or delivered in person. Download Absentee Ballot Application
If you are 65 or older or disabled, you may (if you desire) complete one application and receive absentee ballots for the primary, primary runoff, general, and general runoff. You must complete a separate absentee application for the Presidential Preference Primary.
Voters who qualify for Elderly and or Disabled status need to re-apply each Calendar Year within the 180 days prior to an Election.
UOCAVA Voter – Member of armed forces or Merchant Marines of the United States, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, spouse or dependent residing with or accompanying said member, or a United States citizen residing overseas.
You will be required to mark your current status as one of the below reasons if you qualify as a UOCAVA voter:
- MOS - Military Overseas
- MST - Military Stateside
- OST - Overseas Temporary Resident
- OSP - Overseas Permanent Resident (federal offices only on OSP Status)
UOCAVA Voters Only, may request to receive absentee ballot by electronic transmission. UOCAVA Voters that choose to receive an Absentee Ballot by electronic transmission please indicate this request on your application and also include your legible email address in the space provided on the Federal Post Card Application. (FPCA)
Applications for an Absentee Ballot by uniformed or overseas voters (pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) can be accepted for each Election Cycle prior to a primary or election in which a federal candidate appears on the ballot as well as for any runoffs resulting therefrom including presidential preference primaries for one Election Cycle.