Student Voter Guide for Georgia’s 2020 Presidential Primary Election
This guide will help you participate in Georgia’s March 24 Presidential Preference Primary, in which you can help choose America’s presidential nominees. Voter registration in Georgia is nonpartisan; you do not select a political party when you register. In the Georgia presidential primary, you must choose one party’s ballot in order to vote.
Dates and Deadlines
- Primary election date: March 24, 2020, 7 AM to 7 PM
- Last date to register: February 24
- In-person early voting: March 2 to March 20
- Deadline for an absentee ballot to be received: March 24 at 7 PM
Why this primary matters
You have a chance to determine the presidential nominees for the two major political parties. Democratic Party delegates are allotted proportionately, with a 15% minimum to win delegates. Republican Party delegates are allotted Winner Take All.
For Republican and Democratic presidential candidate websites, CNN has a complete list. Politico also has a quick guide to Democratic candidate positions.
To be eligible to vote, you must:
- Be a United States citizen
- Be a legal resident of your county
- Be at least 17 1/2 years of age to register and 18 years of age to vote
- If you’ve been convicted of a felony, be finished with your sentence and any probation or parole, and paid off fines or fees. Possible exceptions for first offenders.
- Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge
How to register to vote
You can register to vote or change your registration online, or download a printable mail-in application form. You can also register at the Department of Driver Services while securing or renewing a license and pick up a registration form at your county board of registrars’ office or some other government offices. If you’re a college student, you can obtain the form at your school registrar’s office or from the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
ID Requirements for registering
To register, you will need one of the following:
- Your Georgia driver’s license number or state-issued ID card number
- The last four digits of your Social Security number.
If you’re registering by mail and for the first time in Georgia, and you don’t have one of these IDs, or if the numbers you do provide are not verified in a state database, you must submit proof of residence, either with the registration application form or when you vote for the first time. Proofs include a copy of a current and valid photo ID, or copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
ID Requirements for voting
You are required to show one of the following forms of photo ID when voting in person, whether on Election Day or in Early Voting:
- Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia DDS
- A Georgia Driver’s License, even if expired
- 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. passport ID
- Valid U.S. military photo ID
- Valid tribal photo ID
Student IDs from most GA two-and-four-year public colleges are acceptable (see list), but not student IDs from private colleges.
You are not required to show ID when you vote absentee by mail. For more on voting IDs, see this page. If you do not have acceptable ID, you can vote provisionally. You will then have three days to show an acceptable form of ID to your county registrar.
In Georgia you can vote absentee without providing a reason. Beginning 180 days before an election, you can download an application form and print, complete, and deliver it to your county board of registrars’ office. The ballot will be mailed to you. You have until March 24 at 7 PM for the ballot to be received by your county registrar. You can also vote early in person, starting on March 2; find the advanced voting locations, dates, and times for your county.
Address to use for registering and voting
Per federal election law, college students can register and vote at either their campus address or their permanent home address, which may be out of state. However, voters can only be registered at one address. If you are not going to physically be in the state where you plan to vote, you will need to request an absentee ballot.
It’s your choice where to register. Registering at your campus address will not:
- Affect your federal financial aid
- Prevent your parents from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes
- Cost you any scholarships, unless they’re tied to specific residency requirements
- Affect your tuition status as an in-state or out-of-state student
- Georgia My Voter Page
- Georgia Voter Information Guide
- Find your county board of registrars’ office and election office
- Democratic Party of Georgia
- Georgia Republican Party
- Campus Vote Project – detailed student voting guides by state
- Vote411 – see candidate stands & generate a personalized ballot
- TurboVote or RockTheVote – get voter registration documents & email reminder