2020 Georgia Code
Title 21 - Elections
Chapter 2 - Elections and Primaries Generally
Article 6 - Registration of Voters
§ 21-2-218. Cancellation of Registration in Former State or County; Address Changes and Corrections

Universal Citation: GA Code § 21-2-218 (2020)
  1. Any person, who is registered to vote in another state and who moves such person's residence from that state to this state, shall, at the time of making application to register to vote in this state, provide such information as specified by the Secretary of State in order to notify such person's former voting jurisdiction of the person's application to register to vote in this state and to cancel such person's registration in the former place of residence.
  2. Any person, who is registered to vote in another county or municipality in this state and who moves such person's residence from that county or municipality to another county or municipality in this state, shall, at the time of making application to register to vote in that county or municipality, provide such information as specified by the Secretary of State in order to notify such person's former voting jurisdiction of the person's application to register to vote in the new place of residence and to cancel such person's registration in the former place of residence.
  3. In the event that an elector moves to a residence within the county or municipality and has a different address from the address contained on the person's registration card, it shall be the duty of such elector to notify the board of registrars of such fact by the fifth Monday prior to the primary or election in which such elector wishes to vote by submitting the change of address in writing. The board of registrars shall then correct the elector's record to reflect the change of address and place the elector in the proper precinct and voting districts. The board of registrars may accept a properly submitted application for an absentee ballot for this purpose for electors who move to an address within the county or municipality which is different from the address contained on the person's registration card. The board of registrars may also accept a properly submitted application for an absentee ballot to correct an elector's name on the voter registration list if all necessary information to complete such a change is included with the application.
  4. In the event that an elector moves to a residence within the county or municipality but into a different precinct or who moves to a residence in the same precinct but at a different address and fails to notify the board of registrars of such fact by the fifth Monday prior to an election or primary such elector shall vote in the precinct of such elector's former residence for such election or primary and for any runoffs resulting therefrom. The superintendent of an election shall make available at each polling place forms furnished by the Secretary of State which shall be completed by each such elector to reflect such elector's present legal residence. Such forms may also be used to notify the board of registrars of a change in an elector's name. The board of registrars shall thereafter place the elector in the proper precinct and voting districts and correct the list of electors accordingly. If the elector is placed in a precinct other than the one in which such elector has previously been voting, such elector shall be notified of the new polling place by first-class mail.
  5. Any provision of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, an elector who moves from one county or municipality to another after the fifth Monday prior to a primary or election may vote in the county or municipality or precinct in which such elector is registered to vote.
  6. No person shall vote in any county or municipality other than the county or municipality of such person's residence except as provided in subsection (e) of this Code section.
  7. In the event that the registration records incorrectly indicate that an elector has moved from an address within a precinct, the elector may vote in the precinct upon affirming in writing on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State that the elector still resides in the precinct at the address previously provided to the board of registrars. The registrars shall correct the elector's registration record to reflect the correct address.
  8. If a voter registration application is completed at a polling place for the purpose of recording a change of address and the new address is outside the county, then the registrar shall forward the application to the registrar in the new county of residence.

(Code 1981, §21-2-218, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 230, § 7; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 13/SB 92.)

Law reviews.

- For article, "Local Government Law," see 53 Mercer L. Rev. 389 (2001). For note on the 2001 amendment to this Code section, see 18 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 114 (2001).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1910, § 71, former Code 1933, §§ 34-602 and 34-631 are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Length of residence not condition for registration.

- Georgia may require its voters to be bona fide residents, but it may not require any length of residence as a condition to registering to vote. Abbott v. Carter, 356 F. Supp. 280 (N.D. Ga. 1972) (decided under former Code 1933, § 34-602 as it read prior to the 1994 repeal and reenactment by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3).

Proof of residence outside precinct does not establish ineligibility.

- Since it is possible for an elector to be eligible to vote in an election district (now precinct) even though no longer residing there, a showing that the absentee ballot oath bears a residence address outside the election district (now precinct) does not establish that the elector was ineligible to vote in the election district (now precinct). Walls v. Garrett, 247 Ga. 640, 277 S.E.2d 903 (1981) (decided under former Code 1933, § 34-631 as it read prior to the 1994 repeal and reenactment by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3).

Failure to apply to registrars upon moving to new county.

- One who had moved from another county to that wherein an election was held, and, by application to the tax-collector of the latter county, had one's name transferred and entered upon the voters' book of that county, but at no time made any application to the registrars thereof for such transfer, and had offered no proof before them as to qualifications to vote, was not qualified to vote in a bond election. Turk v. Royal, 34 Ga. App. 717, 131 S.E. 119 (1925) (decided under former Code 1910, § 71).

Change of residence more than 30 days prior to election.

- An elector may not vote in a legislative district (now precinct) when the elector has changed residence from that district (now precinct) more than 30 days prior to the primary or election. Taggart v. Phillips, 242 Ga. 484, 249 S.E.2d 268 (1978) (decided under former Code 1933, § 34-631 as it read prior to the 1994 repeal and reenactment by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3).

Standing to bring action under the National Voter Registration Act.

- Voter who had recently moved suffered a concrete and actual injury by the refusal by the Georgia Secretary of State to accept the voter's voter registration containing the voter's new address, thereby preventing the voter from voting in the voter's new precinct. Charles H. Wesley Educ. Found., Inc. v. Cox, 324 F. Supp. 2d 1358 (N.D. Ga. 2004).

Cited in Haynes v. Wells, 273 Ga. 106, 538 S.E.2d 430 (2000).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under former Code 1933, §§ 34-631 and 34-804 are included in the annotations for this Code section.

One who moves away from a county and makes a home elsewhere forfeits one's right to vote in that county. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 65-56 (decided under former Code 1933, §§ 34-631 and 34-804 as it read prior to the 1994 repeal and reenactment by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3).

Duty to make changes in records.

- The board of registrars has the right and duty to make changes in its records if it learns from voters' certificates of changes of names or addresses of voters. 1970 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U70-12 (decided under former Code 1933, §§ 34-631 and 34-804 as it read prior to the 1994 repeal and reenactment by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1443, § 3).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 25 Am. Jur. 2d, Elections, §§ 159 et seq., 179 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 29 C.J.S., Elections, §§ 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 66 et seq., 75 et seq.

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