Mission statement of the Athens Clarke County Board of Elections
"The ACC Elections Office shall serve ALL members of our community; as well as our local, state, and federal governments. We will be sure to consider and meet the needs of groups of people who have historically been marginalized and oppressed in our community.
The ACC Elections Office shall maximize voter & community participation as we ensure access to free and fair elections and protect the integrity of the elections process.
To accomplish this, the ACC Elections Office shall: Provide high quality voter education and accurate information, uphold the oaths that we’ve sworn/affirmed, Support Athens-Clarke County Elections Office staff, and Do anything else that is necessary to accomplish our mission."
The Athens-Clarke County Elections Office manages voter registration and conducts all elections held in Athens-Clarke County (including the city of Winterville). The office uses the Georgia Elections Code, Georgia State Election Board rules, and U.S. Justice Department regulations as guidelines.
In carrying out its duties, the Elections Office strives to be of service to every citizen by being fair, nondiscriminatory, and informed on all election laws and legislative changes that will affect their duties and responsibilities to the public.
You can contact the Elections Office by phone, fax, or email. Please direct your email inquiries to Charlotte Sosebee, Director; Lisa McGlaun, Elections Assistant; Pamela Long, Elections Assistant, Audra Taylor, Elections Assistant, or Aletha Perkins, Administrative Assistant.
- Am I eligible to vote in Georgia?
You are eligible to vote in Georgia if you:
- Are a citizen of the United States
- Are a legal resident of Georgia
- Are at least 18 years old
- Have not been found to be mentally incompetent by a court
- Are not serving a sentence for a felony of moral turpitude
- Are registered to vote in the county where you live
- Meet all other state requirements, such as showing or submitting acceptable identification to vote in person or by absentee ballot
- What is required to register to vote?
To Register to vote you must:
- Be a citizen of the United States and a legal resident of Georgia
- Be at least 17 1/2 years of age (you may vote in the next election after turning 18)
- Not serving a sentence for a felony conviction of moral turpitude
- Not have been found mentally incompetent by a court
- Show proof of residence in the county where you are registering
- Provide the last 4 digits of your social security number and/or Driver's License number.
- How do I register to vote?
Voters will be automatically registered to vote as they obtain or renew their Georgia driver’s license. If you do not want to register to vote or update your current voter registration you must OPT OUT by checking a box on the driver's license form.
An application may be obtained:
- Online at the Elections Office website
- From the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at 404-656-2871 or the Secretary of State’s toll-free Voter Information Hotline at 888-265-1115
- From the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections office at 155 East Washington Street - 706-613-3150
- At the Athens Regional Library
- At the Clarke County Tag Office
- Do I register as a member of a political party?
Voters do not register with a political party because Georgia is an open primary state. This means during a primary election you can choose which party's ballot you wish to vote - Republican, Democrat, or Nonpartisan. If you want, that choice can be different each time you vote in a primary election.
A Nonpartisan ballot does not include any of the party races, only races that are not determined by party such as judges.
- How do I know if my registration application was approved?
You may check your voter registration status, sample ballots, absentee ballot requests and more at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.
You should receive a voter precinct card in the mail two to four weeks after submitting your application. You are not officially registered to vote until your application is approved. If you do not receive your voter registration card, or to find out if your registration is current, you should contact our office at 706-613-3150.
- Do I have to register to vote again when I move?
Yes. When you move, you must register at your new address at least 30 days before an election to be eligible to vote in precinct location in your new neighborhood.
If you do not update your address in time, you are still assigned to the precinct for your previous address and should go there to vote on election day.
- What is a precinct card?
A precinct card is a record of your current registration information. It contains your voting districts and the precinct location where you must vote on election days. You should receive a precinct card in the mail two to four weeks after submitting a registration application. If you do not receive the card, or to find out if your registration is current, contact our office at 706-613-3150.
If you move, there is space provided on the card for your new address and instructions for returning the card. This will update your registration.
You can also view and download your precinct card online by using Secretary of State's My Voter Page website at https://mvp.sos.ga.gov/s/.
- Can my registration expire?
Yes, your registration can become inactive if -
- you change your place of residence and do not update your registration
- if our office sends mail to your address on file and it is returned undeliverable
- if you have not voted in three or more years.
If you have not voted in three or more years, it is important to confirm your registration. You can check your registration status online at My Voter Page (MVP). If MVP is unable to find your information, you should contact the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections office at 706-613-3150.
- What are the different methods for casting my vote?
Voters can cast their ballots in one of three ways:
- Absentee by mail (see more information on absentee voting at accgov.com/absenteevoting)
- Vote in person during early voting (absentee in person) at one of the many locations around the county. Early voting begins on the fourth Monday before every primary and general election. Early voting ends on the Friday before each election. A list of locations and hours will be posted on our website before each election at accgov.com/advancevoting.
- Vote in person on Election Day
- When does early/advance voting begin?
Early voting (absentee in person voting) is held at several locations around the county. Early voting begins on the fourth Monday before every primary and general election. Early voting ends on the Friday before each election. A list of locations and hours will be posted on our website before each election at accgov.com/advancevoting.
- What identification is required to vote?
Acceptable identification is:
- A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired
- A valid driver's license from another state or US territory
- Any valid state or federal issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID Card issued by your county registrar’s office or by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
- 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
- Can I use my college or university photo ID card?
If you are currently enrolled in a public state college, university, or technical college in Georgia, you may use your school photo ID. If you attend a private college or university in Georgia, you must show one of the other acceptable forms of photo identification. For more information, call our office at 706-613-3150.
- What happens if I am at the polls on Election Day and I do not have my photo ID?
If you simply forgot your photo identification and time permits, you can retrieve it, return to the polling place, and vote. Otherwise, you can still vote a provisional ballot. You will have up to three days after the election to present appropriate photo identification at your county registrar’s office in order for your provisional ballot to be counted.
- What if I do not have acceptable photo ID?
Voters without proper photo identification can obtain a free Voter Identification Card from the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections office, located at 155 East Washington Street, or from any Georgia Department of Driver Services office.
A voter identification card is issued only for use as identification for the purpose of voting.
- How does the voting process work in Georgia? What do I actually do during voting?
When you arrive at your precinct (find the proper location on your precinct card or go to https://mvp.sos.ga.gov/s/), you'll check in with a poll worker by showing photo identification. The poll worker will give you a voter access card and direct you toward the voting booths.
Inside the booth you will find a ballot marking device and a printer. Insert the card into the ballot marking device. Your ballot will appear on the screen. Make selections by following the instructions on the screen and touching next to the candidate of your choice.
When you've followed all the instructions your ballot will print. Remove the card from the ballot marking device. Take the ballot from the printer and review it carefully. Make sure it is correct.
Walk your paper ballot and voter access card to the next station by the exit door. Here you will return the card to a poll worker and insert your paper ballot into the ballot scanner. When the ballot has been scanned the poll worker will offer you an "I VOTED" sticker. Congratulations! You have cast your ballot!
If you have questions or need help, always ask a poll worker. They are there to guide you through the process.
- How do I become a poll worker?
Several months before every election we post the poll worker job application on the Athens-Clarke County jobs page, https://www.accgov.com/6547/Current-Jobs
Complete the online application and our office will contact you for a short phone interview. Poll workers are paid by the hour and required to attend paid training sessions. Typically, a poll worker will work 14 hours on an election day. There are also opportunities to work for up to three weeks prior to an election staffing one of our early voting locations.
If you have great attention to detail, enjoy working with the public, and want to contribute to the community in a positive way, this job is for you. You must be at least 16 years old, live in Clarke County or one of the adjoining counties, and be able to speak, write, and read fluently in English.
- When are the Board of Elections Meetings and can I attend?
The ACC Board of Elections meetings are open to the public. They are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 4:30 PM. Visit the online calendar for information on upcoming meetings.
Currently, the meetings are held virtually and broadcast for the public live and on-demand on YouTube. Watch videos of previous meetings on-demand on the Board of Elections webpage. The links for live viewing are posted to our website and Facebook page before each meeting. In the future, the Board will return to in-person meetings. The Board encourages the public to attend.
- I received election related mail. How do I know if it's official?
Official election mail will come directly from a county election office or the Secretary of State's office in Atlanta. It will need your attention. Do not throw it away without reading. We are contacting you for a reason.
During election season, political parties, candidates, and other interested groups will send items to your residence. Do not be alarmed. Take note of the sender's address. If it is not from a county election office or the Secretary of State's office, you are under no obligation to respond.
Feel free to call our office at 706-613-3150 if you have questions or concerns about a mailing you've received.
- What is an absentee ballot and who can get one?
An absentee ballot is a paper ballot sent to you in the mail. You will complete it at home and return it to our office by the specified date and time. Any registered voter can request to have an absentee ballot sent to the address on their voter registration or to a temporary address if they will be away on election day. Visit accgov.com/absenteevoting for more information.
- What will I receive with my absentee ballot?
Voters who have requested an absentee ballot by mail will receive a package with four things inside:
- Absentee Ballot
- Instructions for filling out and returning the ballot
- "Official Absentee Ballot" inner privacy envelope or paper sleeve
- Return envelope
The Elections Office will accept ballots that do not include the privacy envelope or paper sleeve.
- How do I fill out the Absentee Ballot by Mail?
- Select voting choices on the Absentee Ballot. Use a blue or black pen to completely fill in the oval next to your choice. DO NOT USE check marks, circles, or Xs.
- Fold the ballot and place it inside the “Official Absentee Ballot” privacy envelope or paper privacy sleeve.
- Place the privacy envelope or sleeve with the ballot inside into the outer return envelope, complete the information on the back of the outer return envelope, and sign your name in the appropriate spot.
- Return it to the Athens-Clarke County Elections Office no later than 7:00 p.m. on election day, either by mail, or by using the official secure drop box during early voting hours located at the Elections Office at 155 East Washington Street, Athens, GA 30601.
- How do I get an absentee ballot?
You must complete an application for an absentee ballot, either online or by mailing an application to our office. You can request an absentee ballot up to 78 days before an election.
For more information about applying for an absentee ballot please go to accgov.com/absenteevoting.
- I mailed in my absentee ballot without the privacy envelope/sleeve. Will my vote still count?
Yes. The Elections Office will accept ballots that do not include the privacy envelope or paper privacy sleeve.
- I've applied for an absentee ballot. Can I pick up my ballot in person?
No. Official ballots must be sent through the United States Postal Service to the address you provided on your absentee ballot application.
- What if I decide I want to vote in person and don't want to use the absentee ballot I requested?
If you decide not to use the absentee ballot you've requested, that's ok. Bring the unvoted ballot with you to an early voting location or to your precinct on election day. A poll worker will ask you to sign an affidavit, take the absentee ballot from you, and cancel it. You will then be allowed to vote in person.
If you have not received the absentee ballot you requested or did not bring it with you, check the correct box on the affidavit. The absentee ballot will be cancelled by the poll worker and you will be allowed to vote in person.
If our records show that your absentee ballot has been returned to us, you have already cast a ballot for that election and cannot vote in person.
- How do I return my voted absentee ballot?
You have options to return your absentee ballot:
- Attach sufficient postage and return the ballot by mail.
- Bring the ballot to the Board of Elections office at 155 E. Washington Street, Athens, GA 30601 and hand deliver it to an elections clerk.
- Deposit your ballot into the secure drop box located inside our office at 155 E. Washington Street. The box is available for use only during early voting hours for each election.