2014 Georgia Code
Title 21 - ELECTIONS
Chapter 2 - ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES GENERALLY
Article 10 - ABSENTEE VOTING
§ 21-2-381 - Making of application for absentee ballot; determination of eligibility by ballot clerk; furnishing of applications to colleges and universities; persons entitled to make application

GA Code § 21-2-381 (2014) What's This?

(a) (1) (A) Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 21-2-219, not more than 180 days prior to the date of the primary or election, or runoff of either, in which the elector desires to vote, any absentee elector may make, either by mail, by facsimile transmission, by electronic transmission, or in person in the registrar's or absentee ballot clerk's office, an application for an official ballot of the elector's precinct to be voted at such primary, election, or runoff.

(B) In the case of an elector residing temporarily out of the county or municipality or a physically disabled elector residing within the county or municipality, the application for the elector's absentee ballot may, upon satisfactory proof of relationship, be made by such elector's mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, spouse, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law of the age of 18 or over.

(C) The application shall be in writing and shall contain sufficient information for proper identification of the elector; the permanent or temporary address of the elector to which the absentee ballot shall be mailed; the identity of the primary, election, or runoff in which the elector wishes to vote; and the name and relationship of the person requesting the ballot if other than the elector.

(D) Except in the case of physically disabled electors residing in the county or municipality, no absentee ballot shall be mailed to an address other than the permanent mailing address of the elector as recorded on the elector's voter registration record or a temporary out-of-county or out-of-municipality address.

(E) Relatives applying for absentee ballots for electors must also sign an oath stating that facts in the application are true.

(F) If the elector is unable to fill out or sign such elector's own application because of illiteracy or physical disability, the elector shall make such elector's mark, and the person filling in the rest of the application shall sign such person's name below it as a witness.

(G) Any elector meeting criteria of advanced age or disability specified by rule or regulation of the State Election Board or any elector who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff, et seq., as amended, may request in writing on one application a ballot for a primary as well as for any runoffs resulting therefrom and for the election for which such primary shall nominate candidates as well as any runoffs resulting therefrom. If not so requested by such person, a separate and distinct application shall be required for each primary, run-off primary, election, and run-off election. Except as otherwise provided in this subparagraph, a separate and distinct application for an absentee ballot shall always be required for the presidential preference primary held pursuant to Article 5 of this chapter and for any special election or special primary.

(2) A properly executed registration card submitted under the provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-219, if submitted within 180 days of a primary or election in which the registrant is entitled to vote, shall be considered to be an application for an absentee ballot under this Code section, or for a special absentee ballot under Code Section 21-2-381.1, as appropriate.

(3) Reserved.

(4) In extraordinary circumstances as described in Code Section 21-2-543.1, the registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall determine if the applicants are eligible to vote under this Code section and shall either mail or issue the absentee ballots for the election for representative in the United States Congress to an individual entitled to make application for absentee ballot under subsection (d) of this Code section the same day any such application is received, so long as the application is received by 3:00 P.M., otherwise no later than the next business day following receipt of the application. Any valid absentee ballot shall be accepted and processed so long as the ballot is received by the registrar or absentee ballot clerk not later than 45 days after the ballot is transmitted to the absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter, but in no event later than 11 days following the date of the election.

(b) (1) Upon receipt of a timely application for an absentee ballot, a registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall enter thereon the date received. The registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall determine, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, if the applicant is eligible to vote in the primary or election involved. In order to be found eligible to vote an absentee ballot by mail, the registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall compare the identifying information on the application with the information on file in the registrar's office and, if the application is signed by the elector, compare the signature or mark of the elector on the application with the signature or mark of the elector on the elector's voter registration card. In order to be found eligible to vote an absentee ballot in person at the registrar's office or absentee ballot clerk's office, such person shall show one of the forms of identification listed in Code Section 21-2-417 and the registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall compare the identifying information on the application with the information on file in the registrar's office.

(2) If found eligible, the registrar or absentee ballot clerk shall certify by signing in the proper place on the application and then:

(A) Shall mail the ballot as provided in this Code section;

(B) If the application is made in person, shall issue the ballot to the elector to be voted within the confines of the registrar's or absentee ballot clerk's office if issued during the advance voting period established pursuant to subsection (d) of Code Section 21-2-385; or

(C) May deliver the ballot in person to the elector if such elector is confined to a hospital.

(3) If found ineligible, the clerk or the board of registrars shall deny the application by writing the reason for rejection in the proper space on the application and shall promptly notify the applicant in writing of the ground of ineligibility, a copy of which notification should be retained on file in the office of the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk for at least one year.

(4) If the registrar or clerk is unable to determine the identity of the elector from information given on the application, the registrar or clerk should promptly write to request additional information.

(5) In the case of an unregistered applicant who is eligible to register to vote, the clerk or the board shall immediately mail a blank registration card as provided by Code Section 21-2-223, and such applicant, if otherwise qualified, shall be deemed eligible to vote by absentee ballot in such primary or election, if the registration card, properly completed, is returned to the clerk or the board on or before the last day for registering to vote in such primary or election. If the closing date for registration in the primary or election concerned has not passed, the clerk or registrar shall also mail a ballot to the applicant, as soon as it is prepared and available; and the ballot shall be cast in such primary or election if returned to the clerk or board not later than the close of the polls on the day of the primary or election concerned.

(c) In those counties or municipalities in which the absentee ballot clerk or board of registrars provides application forms for absentee ballots, the clerk or board shall provide such quantity of the application form to the dean of each college or university located in that county as said dean determines necessary for the students of such college or university. (d)(1) A citizen of the United States permanently residing outside the United States is entitled to make application for an absentee ballot from Georgia and to vote by absentee ballot in any election for presidential electors and United States senator or representative in Congress:

(A) If such citizen was last domiciled in Georgia immediately before his or her departure from the United States; and

(B) If such citizen could have met all qualifications, except any qualification relating to minimum voting age, to vote in federal elections even though, while residing outside the United States, he or she does not have a place of abode or other address in Georgia.

(2) An individual is entitled to make application for an absentee ballot under paragraph (1) of this subsection even if such individual's intent to return to Georgia may be uncertain, as long as:

(A) He or she has complied with all applicable Georgia qualifications and requirements which are consistent with 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff concerning absentee registration for and voting by absentee ballots;

(B) He or she does not maintain a domicile, is not registered to vote, and is not voting in any other state or election district of a state or territory or in any territory or possession of the United States; and

(C) He or she has a valid passport or card of identity and registration issued under the authority of the Secretary of State of the United States or, in lieu thereof, an alternative form of identification consistent with 42 U.S.C. Section 1973ff and applicable state requirements, if a citizen does not possess a valid passport or card of identity and registration.

(e) The State Election Board is authorized to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations for the implementation of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section. Said rules and regulations may include provisions for the limitation of opportunities for fraudulent application, including, but not limited to, comparison of voter registration records with death certificates.

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