2014 Georgia Code
Title 21 - ELECTIONS
Chapter 2 - ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES GENERALLY
Article 8 - VOTING BY BALLOT
§ 21-2-285 - Form of official election ballot; attestation on receipt of benefit in exchange for vote; when an election is not required
(a) At the top of each ballot for an election shall be printed in prominent type the words "OFFICIAL BALLOT," followed by the designation of the precinct for which it is prepared and the name and date of the election. (b)(1) Directions that explain how to cast a vote and how to obtain a new ballot after one is spoiled shall appear immediately under this caption on a ballot presenting the names of candidates for election to office as specified by the rules and regulations of the State Election Board.
(2) Marks made in violation of these directions shall be disregarded in the counting of the votes cast. The names of persons inserted on the ballot by the elector shall be written only within the write-in space provided and the insertion of such names outside such column or by the use of a sticker, paster, stamp, or other printed or written matter is prohibited.
(c) Immediately under the directions, the names of all candidates who have been nominated in accordance with the requirements of this chapter shall be printed on the ballot and the names of the candidates shall in all cases be arranged under the titles of the respective offices they are seeking. In a primary or special election, said names shall be arranged alphabetically by last name under the title of the office. The incumbency of a candidate seeking election for the public office he or she then holds shall be indicated on the ballot. In a general election, the names of candidates who are nominees of a political party shall be placed under the name of their party. The columns of political parties shall be printed on the ballot, beginning on the left side thereof, and shall be arranged from left to right in the descending order of the totals of votes cast for candidates of the political parties for Governor at the last gubernatorial election. The columns of parties having no candidate for Governor on the ballot at the last gubernatorial election shall be arranged alphabetically according to the party name to the right of the columns of the parties so represented. The columns of political bodies shall be arranged alphabetically according to the body name to the right of the party columns. The names of all independent candidates shall be printed on the ballot in a column or columns under the heading "Independent," which shall be placed to the right of the political body columns. In the case of two or more independent candidates seeking the same office, their names shall be arranged under the title of the office in alphabetical order. The names of candidates seeking the same office shall be printed horizontally opposite one another in their respective columns, and such columns shall be of sufficient length to permit such an arrangement. To the right of the independent column or columns shall be printed a blank column sufficient for the insertion of write-in votes.
(d) Unless a candidate has filed with his or her nominating petition a certificate from a political party or body attesting that such candidate is the nominee of such party by virtue of having been nominated in a duly constituted party convention, the candidate's name shall appear on the ballot under the independent column.
(e) When presidential electors are to be elected, the ballot shall not list the individual names of the candidates for presidential electors but shall list the names of each political party or body and the names of the candidates of the party or body for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States. The individual names or the nominees of each political party or body for such offices shall be posted at each polling place arranged alphabetically under the names of the candidates of the party or body for President and Vice President of the United States. A vote for the candidates for President and Vice President of a political party or body shall be deemed to be a vote for each of the candidates for presidential electors of such political party or body.
(f) When proposed constitutional amendments or other questions are submitted to a vote of the electors, each amendment or other question so submitted may be printed upon the ballot following the groups of candidates for the various offices. Proposed constitutional amendments so submitted shall be printed in the order determined by the Constitutional Amendments Publication Board and in brief form as directed by the General Assembly and, in the event of a failure to so direct, the form shall be determined by the Secretary of State and shall include the short title or heading provided for in subsection (c) of Code Section 50-12-101. Unless otherwise provided by law, any other state-wide questions or questions to be presented to the electors of more than one county so submitted shall be printed in brief form as directed by the General Assembly and, in the event of a failure to so direct, the form shall be determined by the Secretary of State and shall include a short title or heading in bold face at the beginning of each such question on the ballot and any local questions so submitted shall be printed in brief form as directed by the General Assembly and, in the event of a failure to so direct, the form shall be determined by the superintendent.
(g) When proposed questions are submitted to a vote of municipal electors, each question so submitted may be printed upon the ballot to the right of or below the groups of candidates for the various offices.
(h) Each ballot shall have printed thereon the following: "I understand that the offer or acceptance of money or any other object of value to vote for any particular candidate, list of candidates, issue, or list of issues included in this election constitutes an act of voter fraud and is a felony under Georgia law."
(i) The ballots shall vary in form only as the names of precincts, offices, candidates, or this chapter may require.
(j) Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, in the event there is no opposed candidate in a precinct in a general or special municipal election, no election shall be held in such precinct unless a write-in candidate has qualified as provided by law or unless there are issues to be submitted to the electorate within a precinct.
(k) When, pursuant to subsection (j) of this Code section, no election is to be conducted, the municipality shall provide notice reasonably calculated to inform the affected electorate that no election is to be conducted. Each such unopposed candidate shall be deemed to have voted for himself or herself. The superintendent shall certify such unopposed candidate as elected in the same manner as he or she certifies other candidates as elected pursuant to Code Section 21-2-502.
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