EXPLAINER: How new voting legislation in Georgia will effect you

Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 10:21 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - With the approval of legislation imposing new changes to the voting process in Georgia, people in the Fountain City will see several of those changes taking place this election year.

With elections just around the corner News Leader 9 is bringing to you those changes.

Director of the Voter Registration and Election Office, Nancy Boren says this year’s early voting is going to look very different from the previous years.

“If you know you want to vote early for the May 24 primary, now is the time to apply for that absentee ballads. Don’t wait.” Boren says.

Boren also says not waiting is the key to early voting following the changes imposed by Senate Bill 202. A bill approved by Georgia Gov. Kemp that revamped the entire process of early voting.

According to Boren there are three different ways to vote.

“One is voting in person early. You can also vote absentee by mail or you can vote in-person on election day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at your assigned precinct.” explains Boren.

This year, March 7 marked the first day people can request an application for a mail-in absentee ballot and it last up until one week before the election.

Boren says previously people had up until two days before an election to request the ballot.

“And we know with mail, it’s difficult for us to send your ballot by mail and for you to vote it and send it back by mail.” Boren adds.

Another change to the absentee voting is the identification process.

The only thing people needed for absentee voting was their signature. Now they will need one of the several forms of identification included in your application.

“Your driver’s license number, your state ID number or the last four of your social security number.”

If you happen not to have those Boren says a copy of a utility bill will work.

In previous elections, there were five early in-person voting locations, however from now on there will be only three locations - Shirley B. Winston Recreational Center, Columbus Technical College and City Service Center.

Last year in 2021, Boren says they had over 26,000 people vote by mail, but she says she expects this year to look different.

Ballot collection drop boxes are also removed.

Boren says this year there will only be one box located at the city services center that will close at the end of early voting.

The start date to request an absentee ballot application started March 7 and is now open until Friday the week before election day.

The earliest election is on May 24.

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