2020 Georgia Code
Title 21 - Elections
Chapter 2 - Elections and Primaries Generally
Article 9 - Voting Machines and Vote Recorders Generally
Part 2 - Voting Machines
§ 21-2-325. Form of Ballot Labels Generally

Universal Citation: GA Code § 21-2-325 (2020)
  1. The ballot labels shall be printed in black ink upon clear, white, or pastel colored material, of such size as will fit the ballot frame, and in plain, clear type so as to be easily readable by persons with normal vision.
  2. If the construction of the machine shall require it, the ballot label for each candidate, group of candidates, political party or body, or question to be voted on shall bear the designating letter or number of the counter on the voting machine which will register or record votes therefor. Each question to be voted on shall appear on the ballot labels in brief form. Unless otherwise provided by law, proposed constitutional amendments so submitted shall be in brief form as directed by the General Assembly and, in the failure to so direct, the form shall be determined by the Secretary of State. 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. In the case of questions to be voted on by the electors of a municipality, the governing authority shall determine the brief form of the questions.
  3. The ballot label for each candidate or group of candidates nominated by a party or body shall contain the name or designation of the party or body.
  4. The titles of offices may be arranged horizontally or vertically, with the names of candidates for an office arranged transversely under or opposite 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 labels.
  5. The names of all candidates nominated by a party or body shall appear in adjacent rows or columns containing generally the names of candidates nominated by such party or body, provided that the names of individual candidates for presidential elector shall not appear upon the ballot labels, but, in lieu thereof, the names of the candidates of such party or body for President and Vice President shall be printed together with the name of such party or body.
  6. The form and arrangement of ballot labels shall be prepared by the superintendent.
  7. The names of all candidates of a party or body shall appear in the same row or column, and no other names shall appear in the same row or column. The names of candidates and independent candidates shall be arranged under or opposite the title of the office for which they are candidates and shall appear in the order prescribed by subsection (c) and the second sentence of subsection (e) of Code Section 21-2-285. The rows or columns occupied by the names of the candidates of political parties and bodies shall be arranged according to the priority prescribed by subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-285. When voting machines are used on which the titles of offices are arranged horizontally, the names of all candidates for the same office shall appear within the same vertical lines.
  8. In primaries, the ballot labels containing the names of candidates seeking nomination by a political party shall be segregated on the face of the machine in adjacent rows or columns by parties, the priority of such political parties on the ballot labels to be determined in the order prescribed by subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-285. If a nonpartisan election is being held in conjunction with a partisan primary, each partisan ballot label shall be clearly marked to indicate that the elector may vote in the nonpartisan election also. In nonpartisan elections, the ballot labels shall include a separate portion for the names of candidates seeking election in a nonpartisan election and the heading and arrangement of such candidates shall be as prescribed by Code Section 21-2-285.1 insofar as practicable. At the top of the separate portion shall be printed in prominent type the words "OFFICIAL NONPARTISAN ELECTION BALLOT."
  9. In primaries, if it shall be impracticable to place on the ballot labels of one machine the names of all candidates seeking nomination in all political parties and the names of all candidates seeking election in a nonpartisan election, the superintendent may arrange for the names of all the candidates seeking nomination in any one political party to be placed on separate voting machines; provided, however, that the names of all candidates seeking election in a nonpartisan election shall appear on all machines.
  10. Within the instruction section of the ballot label there shall be printed 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."

  11. Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, in the event there is no opposed candidate in a precinct in a special or general election, no special or general 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. Each such unopposed candidate shall be deemed to have voted for himself or herself. Where feasible, the superintendent shall provide notice reasonably calculated to inform the affected electorate that no special or general election is to be conducted. 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 21-2-493.

(Code 1933, § 34-1208, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 851, § 4; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1053, § 6; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1004, § 19; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1979, § 2; Ga. L. 1979, p. 624, § 2; Ga. L. 1980, p. 437, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1512, § 5; Ga. L. 1983, p. 140, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 1190, § 13; Ga. L. 1984, p. 133, § 1; Ga. L. 1986, p. 772, § 4; Ga. L. 1986, p. 1538, § 2; Ga. L. 1987, p. 34, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 647, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 10, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 279, § 5; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1027, § 7; Ga. L. 1996, p. 145, § 16; Ga. L. 1997, p. 8, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 590, § 29; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1231, §§ 11, 35; Ga. L. 2001, p. 269, § 20; Ga. L. 2011, p. 678, § 6/HB 158; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, § 23/SB 92.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1983, p. 1190, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provided that it was the intent of that Act to implement the provisions of Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VI, Sec. VII, Para. I.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Appearance of candidate's name on ballot, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Georgia Election Code, Ballots, § 183-1-11-.02.

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. 96 (2001).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code Section 21-3-225 are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Failure to place a candidate's nickname on the ballot could not be considered an act of misconduct within the meaning of former § 21-3-422(1). Maye v. Pundt, 267 Ga. 243, 477 S.E.2d 119 (1996) (decided under former § 21-3-225).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Name of candidate.

- Titles such as "Dr.", "Rev.", "Judge", "Mr.", "Ms.", "Mrs.", or "Miss" are not a part of a person's name and should not be placed on the ballot as a part of the candidate's name. 1984 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 84-51.

Paper ballots may be used as an alternative to voting machines where ballot questions on a constitutional amendment cannot be made to adhere to the 75-word limitation formerly found within subsection (b) of O.C.G.A. § 21-2-325. 1997 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 97-3.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 26 Am. Jur. 2d, Elections, § 307.

C.J.S.

- 29 C.J.S., Elections, §§ 261, 337, 338.

ALR.

- Constitutionality, construction and application of statutes providing that candidates for certain offices shall be placed upon nonpartisan ballot, 125 A.L.R. 1044.

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