2020 Georgia Code
Title 21 - Elections
Chapter 2 - Elections and Primaries Generally
Article 11 - Preparation for and Conduct of Primaries and Elections
Part 1 - General Provisions
§ 21-2-409. Assisting Electors Who Cannot Read English or Who Have Disabilities

Universal Citation: GA Code § 21-2-409 (2020)
  1. No elector shall receive any assistance in voting at any primary or election unless he or she is unable to read the English language or he or she has a disability which renders him or her unable to see or mark the ballot or operate the voting equipment or to enter the voting compartment or booth without assistance. A person assisting an elector shall identify himself or herself to a poll worker who shall record such information on the disabled elector's voter certificate showing that such person provided assistance in voting to such elector.
  2. Any elector who is entitled to receive assistance in voting under this Code section shall be permitted by the managers to select any person of the elector's choice except such elector's employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of such elector's union to enter the voting compartment or booth with him or her to assist in voting, such assistance to be rendered inside the voting compartment or booth. No person whose name appears on the ballot as a candidate at a particular election nor the 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 that candidate shall offer assistance during that particular election under the provisions of this Code section to any voter who is not related to such candidate. For the purposes of this subsection, "related to such candidate" shall mean the candidate'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. Notice of the availability of such assistance shall be prominently posted at each polling place.

(Ga. L. 1922, p. 97, § 4; Code 1933, § 34-1905; Code 1933, § 34-1317, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1966, p. 185, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 871, § 13; Ga. L. 1969, p. 285, § 4; Code 1933, § 34-1312, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1969, p. 308, § 18; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1718, § 6; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1512, § 5; Ga. L. 1983, p. 140, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 911, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 53, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 145, § 18; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 240, § 38; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 45; Ga. L. 2004, p. 103, § 1; Ga. L. 2006, p. 888, § 6/HB 1435; Ga. L. 2008, p. 781, § 11/HB 1112; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 34/HB 316.)

The 2019 amendment, effective April 2, 2019, rewrote subsection (b).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2019, "subsection" was substituted for "paragraph" near the beginning of the last sentence of subsection (b).

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2019 amendment of this Code section, see 36 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 81 (2019).


Failure to give required oaths to voters receiving assistance along with other irregularities were sufficient to cast doubt on the results of an election. McCranie v. Mullis, 267 Ga. 416, 478 S.E.2d 377 (1996).

Investigation into whether voter activist was a convicted felon did not support civil claim.

- Evidence that an elections official and a sheriff discussed and questioned a political activist about rumors that the activist was a convicted felon did not support a Fourteenth Amendment claim for purposes of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) since the activist failed to provide evidence of malicious intent or conduct that shocked the conscience, the activist failed to establish a constitutional violation, a necessary element of a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3). Moore v. Nelson, 394 F. Supp. 2d 1365 (M.D. Ga. 2005).

Invalidation of election reversed on appeal.

- Trial court erred by invalidating an election for sheriff and ordering a new election because the evidence of systemic misconduct for vote buying and alleged wrongful distribution of absentee ballots was speculative and insufficient to support the trial court's conclusion that irregularities cause doubt on the results. Meade v. Williamson, 293 Ga. 142, 745 S.E.2d 279 (2013).


Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under former Code 1933, § 34-1903 are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Restrictions unenforceable in presidential preference primary.

- The restrictions contained in O.C.G.A. § 21-2-409, limiting the class of persons permitted to assist disabled or illiterate electors at the polls, and the restrictions contained in O.C.G.A. § 21-2-385, limiting the class of persons permitted to assist disabled or illiterate electors voting by absentee ballot, cannot be enforced in the presidential preference primary nor can the limitations contained in these Code sections concerning the number of persons one individual may assist be enforced. 1984 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 84-15.

No poll officer may provide voting assistance to an elector. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 66-182.

Voter's determination as to need of assistance.

- Whether a particular person would qualify under former Code 1933, § 34-1903 (see now O.C.G.A. § 21-2-586) was a question which addressed itself to the voter, inasmuch as the voter must state under oath that the voter needs assistance. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 148 (decided under former Code 1933, § 34-1903).

Voter may be administered the oath by any of the managers or by a notary public or other officer qualified to administer oaths. 1948-49 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 204.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 26 Am. Jur. 2d, Elections, § 313 et seq.


- 29 C.J.S., Elections, §§ 334, 342, 343.

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