Getting Ready for Georgia's Runoff Election
The State of Georgia will host a runoff election Tuesday, Jan. 5, for the state’s two U.S. Senate seats. The results will determine which party will control the Senate for at least the next two years.
Incumbent Sen. David Perdue (R) is seeking another six-year term against Jon Ossoff (D). For the other seat, incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) is running to win the last two years of retired Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term, a seat to which she was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp in 2019. She’s facing off against Rev. Raphael Warnock (D).
If one or both Republicans win, the GOP will retain its Senate majority. If the two Democrats win and create a 50-50 split, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be able to break any tie votes in the chamber.
If you plan to vote in the runoff election, first, check that your voter registration is up to date. If you should be registered in Georgia, check your voter registration status here. The registration deadline for the Jan. 5 runoff is Monday, Dec. 7.
Who is eligible to vote? To register in Georgia, you must be:
- A U.S. citizen.
- A legal resident of Georgia and the county in which you plan to vote.
- At least 17 ½ years of age to register and 18 years of age to vote.
- Not serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.
- Not found mentally incompetent by a judge, unless the disability has been removed.
Voter registration is a county function, with counties issuing precinct cards after processing applications.
To register online, you need a valid driver’s license or identification card issued by the Georgia Department of Driver Services with a signature on file. You also may register by mail. Download, print, sign, and mail the application to your county registrar here.
To vote by absentee ballot, the ballot must be postmarked by election day and delivered by 7 p.m. on Jan. 5. To request an absentee ballot, the information entered online must match your voter registration record.
In Georgia, any registered voter can vote by absentee ballot — unlike some states, which require voters to provide a justification for requesting one. Voters can request an absentee ballot here or at ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov.
Dates to Note
Important dates related to the Special Election in Georgia:
- Dec. 7 - Voter registration deadline for Jan. 5 election.
- Dec. 14 - Early (advanced in-person) voting begins for federal offices.
- Jan. 5 - Election Day for federal offices.
As it did for the November general election, McCamish Pavilion will serve as a polling place for the Jan. 5 runoff election. On Election Day, only residents assigned to McCamish can vote there.
Time to Vote
Per section 18.104.22.168 of the USG’s general personnel policies, employees are encouraged to exercise their constitutional right to vote in all federal, state, and local elections. If polls are not open at least two hours before or two hours after an employee’s normally scheduled work shift, sufficient leave time must be granted to permit the employee to vote. Employees should be granted a two-hour block of time in which to vote, if needed.
Per section 4.1.3 of the USG’s general Student Affairs policy, students are also encouraged to vote in all federal, state, and local elections. A student whose class schedule would otherwise prevent them from voting will be permitted and excused absence for the interval reasonably required for voting.
University System of Georgia (USG) employees are encouraged to fulfill their civic obligations and share their views on political issues; however, in doing so, they may act only in their personal capacities and must not use Institute resources or appear to be speaking on behalf of the Institute.
In addition, USG employees may not hold elective political offices at the state or federal level while employed by the USG. Political campaigning during work hours, or in a way that interferes with Institute responsibilities, is prohibited.