On Saturday, Oct. 29, the polls will be open in all 159 Georgia counties for individuals to cast their ballots early leading up to Election Day on Nov. 8. Secretary of State Brian Kemp encourages all voters to take advantage of Georgia’s advance voting period, which includes this mandatory weekend session.
Saturday voting in Newton County will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the administrative building, located at 113 Usher St., in Covington. More information on local voting opportunities and locations can be found at http://www.co.newton.ga.us/departments/board-of-elections.
"Georgia voters are highly enthusiastic and taking full advantage of unprecedented access to the ballot box," Kemp said. “As Georgia’s chief elections official, I want to ensure every Georgian has the opportunity to allow their voice to be heard at the polls.”
So far, a total of 1,054,959 ballots – 116,764 mailed-in absentee ballots and 938,195 advance in-person ballots – have been cast in the Peach State leading up to Election Day. There are 99,156 outstanding mail-in absentee ballots. You can view updated, daily figures on Secretary Kemp’s Twitter account during the advance voting period.
For over a year, Kemp's office has been working in tandem with county officials and state partners at the Kennesaw State University Center for Elections System to prepare, test, and deploy Georgia's elections system and voting equipment in this election.
Based on their efforts, Kemp encourages voters to remain confident in the integrity of the state's elections despite recent news reports threatening a “rigged” election.
"Confidence in a voting system is not earned over night. It is built vote by vote, election by election," Kemp said. "With over 45 million votes accurately cast, captured, and tabulated, Georgia's battle-tested voting equipment and the election officials who manage the system have earned voters' confidence."
To preserve this level of confidence in the state’s voting system, it is crucial for Georgia voters to report any voting irregularities or complaints involving elections to the office’s Investigations Division. To submit a complaint, you can contact the office through Secretary Kemp’s social media or use the “Stop Voter Fraud” website and hotline at (877) 725-9797.
All complaints are promptly reviewed by the division’s P.O.S.T.-certified law enforcement officers, and if warranted, officers will open a formal State Election Board investigation.
“Voter fraud is a real and serious issue. However, elections administrators, including myself, are working hard to make sure we have secure, accessible, and fair elections in our state," Kemp said. "At the end of the day, I believe the American people will stand by the results of the election after the process has been completed and witness a peaceful transition of power.”
Georgia voters can use the office’s “My Voter Page” or download the “GA SOS” app to check registration status, view a sample ballot, find their voting location and hours of operation, or request an absentee ballot. Voters are advised to request absentee ballots well in advance of the November 4, 2016 deadline to vote by mail in the General Election.
Advance in-person voting began Oct. 17. The General Election will be held on Nov. 8.
Throughout the advance voting period, state law requires the polls to be open during normal business hours. Hours of operation vary by county for Saturday voting this upcoming weekend. On Election Day, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Kemp reminds Georgians that photography is prohibited in a polling place when voting is underway unless the poll manager gives approval, which is often provided for limited media coverage. It is illegal to take pictures of a ballot or voting equipment. In previous elections, voters have posted "ballot selfies" on social media in violation of statutory law.
"If you are going to post about your voting experience on social media, I encourage you to post your peach voting sticker, not your ballot," Kemp said. "Georgia law intends to preserve secrecy of the ballot for all voters."
The final screen you will see before you cast your ballot is a summary of your choices. Please carefully review them before you cast your ballot. If you do see an error, alert a poll worker and they will assist you in addressing any issue.
Georgians can reference other important dates for the 2016 election cycle on the office’s website. Currently, there are over 6.6 million registered voters in the Peach State.