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Trump meets with Martin Luther King III on Monday to discuss voting rights
01/16/17 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, January 16, 2017 - 17:00
Excerpt: 

The private session at Trump Tower with civil rights advocates, on the same day the nation is honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, represented a mix of symbolism and substance. King III has campaigned for years to establish a form of free government photo identification that could make it easier for Americans who lack a driver’s license or other official ID to cast ballots. He and the other attendees, including the Rev. James A. Forbes, have urged Trump to endorse the idea of making such identification free. ...

According to one of the meeting’s participants, who asked for anonymity to discuss a private conversation, Trump expressed a serious interest in making photos available on Social Security cards and said he would study the issue in further detail. ...

Proponents of the voter card emphasize that it will be voluntary, rather than universal, and said it represents a rational response to the fact that voter ID laws are poised to proliferate given Republicans’ recent gains on the state and federal level.

“We’re going to end up with more and more voter ID laws,” said American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Norman Ornstein. “And that’s a reality, and the question pragmatically is, what is the best way to deal with it?”

Ornstein noted that looking at minority turnout in the 2016 presidential election results, “It was down more in states with strict laws than in states without it."

Martin Luther King III: Trump agrees the voting system is broken. Here’s how he can fix it.
01/14/17 |
Publication Date: 
Saturday, January 14, 2017 - 01:00
Excerpt: 

[W]e can agree that every citizen should have the unfettered opportunity to vote. Indeed, my concern is not how people vote, but simply that they vote. ...

Fortunately, President-elect Trump agrees. Throughout the campaign, he consistently reminded the electorate that the system is broken.

Even more fortunately, it is indisputable that nonpartisan, common-sense solutions are available. In 2014, as the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act at the LBJ Presidential Library, former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton endorsed my friend Andrew Young’s proposal that all citizens be able to obtain a photo ID card that would meet the voting requirements in every state. Following the event, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly voiced his support for the plan, saying they were “doing the country a service” and declaring, “Let’s get the pictures on the Social Security card, stop the nonsense and be a responsible country.” As Young has said, “The challenge with voter ID laws isn’t the requirement to show ID, it’s that so many people lack ID. That is the problem that needs to be fixed — and not just for voting. In today’s world, you can’t open a bank account without a photo ID — and the only people happy about that are check cashers.” ...

[A]t the end of the day, the right to vote is not a Republican right or a Democratic right — it is an American right. If Trump enables more Americans to exercise that right in future elections, he will be able to say that in no small measure he really did make America great again.
 

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Georgia Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: October 11, 2016

A voter can determine whether he or she is registered to vote by checking the Georgia “My Voter Page” on the Secretary of State’s Website.

Election Day:

The polls must be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on Election Day (polling locations in cities with more than 300,000 people must stay open until 8:00 p.m.).

Early Voting begins 21 days prior to a Primary, General, and Special Election and ends the Friday before Election Day. Early voting polling place hours vary by county in Georgia. For more information about voting early in Georgia, please visit: (http://sos.ga.gov/elections/CountyContacts/AdvanceVotingDisplay.aspx)

How to Find Your Polling Place:

A voter can determine his or her proper polling place by checking the Secretary of State’s Website (http://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do).

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines: The voter registration deadline is/was the close of business on the fifth Monday before the election, or, when the fifth Monday is a holiday, the deadline is the following business day. The registration date for the 2016 election is at the close of business on October 11, 2016. The state of Georgia does not have Same Day Registration.

How to Check Your Registration: A voter can determine whether he or she is registered to vote by checking the Georgia “My Voter Page” on the Secretary of State’s Website (http://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do).

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in Georgia, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Reside in Georgia;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day;
  • Not be barred from voting due to a disqualifying felony conviction; and
  • Not have been declared mentally incompetent by a court.

How to Register: There are many ways to register to vote:

  • Download, complete, and mail a Voter Registration Application.
  • Register online (https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov/GAOLVR/welcome.do#no-back-button) if you have a valid Georgia driver’s license or ID number.
  • Contact your local county board of registrars' office (http://sos.ga.gov/cgi-bin/countyregistrarsindex.asp) or election office, public library, public assistance office, recruitment office, schools and other government offices for a mail-in registration form.
  • Registration is offered when you renew or apply for your driver's license at Department of Motor Vehicle Safety.
  • College students can obtain Georgia voter registration forms, or the necessary forms to register in any state in the U.S., from their school registrar's office or from the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Identification Required for Registration: You must present a copy of one of the following forms of ID with your voter registration application OR when you vote for the first time:

  • A Georgia driver's license (expired is acceptable);
  • Valid photo ID card issued by any governmental agency or entity of the State of Georgia, any other state, or the United States;
  • Valid U.S. passport;
  • A government employee photo ID;
  • Valid U.S. military ID card with photo;
  • Valid Tribal ID with photo;
  • Current utility bill showing name and address;
  • Valid government check or paycheck showing name and address;
  • Valid government document showing name and address; or
  • Current bank statement.

If You Want to Vote Early

Early Voting begins 21 days prior to a Primary, General, and Special Election and ends the Friday before Election Day. Early voting polling place hours vary by county in Georgia. For more information about voting early in Georgia, please visit: (http://sos.ga.gov/elections/CountyContacts/AdvanceVotingDisplay.aspx)

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Absentee voting allows registered voters to vote by mail or in-person on or before Election Day.  There are three types of voting before Election Day in Georgia:

1)      Absentee voting by mail: This type of absentee voting allows a voter (or an adult family member acting on behalf of a disabled voter or a voter who is temporarily out of the state) to request that an absentee ballot be sent to the voter by mail.  Any registered Georgia voter can request a mail-in absentee ballot.  No special circumstances are necessary. Voters (or an adult family member making the request on behalf of a disabled or temporarily absent voter) can obtain an absentee ballot application on the Secretary of State’s website (http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/Elections/absentee_voting_in_georgia), or at county boards of election offices.  A completed absentee ballot request can be mailed, e-mailed, faxed, or delivered to the county board of elections in person beginning 180 days prior to an election through the Friday before Election Day. Voters age 75 years and older as well as physically disabled voters may choose to complete one application and receive a ballot for the General Primary, General Primary Runoff (if needed) by correctly selecting that option on the absentee ballot application.  All other voters are required to make separate applications for each of the elections.

2)      The voter may vote the ballot and return it to the county board of elections by the ballot return deadline.  By law, Georgia requires that the ballot be returned by the voter, unless the voter is physically disabled.  The deadline to return an absentee ballot in-person or by mail is at the close of polls on Election Day.

If the voter did not supply acceptable ID when registering to vote and is voting for the first time as an absentee voter he/she must include a copy of one of the accepted forms of ID or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector.  Otherwise the absentee ballot will be treated as a provisional ballot.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Georgia requires Photo ID in order to vote. Acceptable forms of ID are:

  • A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired;
  • Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID Card issued by the voter’s county registrar or Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS);
  • Valid U.S. passport;
  • Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority, or other entity of the state of Georgia. 
  • Valid student ID issued by a Georgia public university, college, or technical college.  This does not include photo ID’s from private colleges, universities, or technical colleges.
  • Valid U.S. military photo ID; or
  • Valid tribal photo ID.

The address on the ID does not have to match the address at which the voter is registered to vote.

A voter without identification may vote a provisional ballot.  In order for the provisional ballot to count, the voter must present proper ID to the registrar’s office within 3 days after Election Day or the provisional ballot will not count.

VoteRiders has created Georgia voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Moving within the Same County

If you have moved within the precinct more than 30 days before Election Day, you should notify your board of registrars by the fifth Monday prior to the election.  Otherwise vote in your OLD precinct. If you have moved within the same precinct within 30 days of Election Day, you can vote in your OLD precinct.  Fill out a change of address form for the next election.

If you have moved within the same county but to a different precinct, and have moved within 30 days of Election Day, you can vote in your OLD precinct.  Fill out a change of address form for the next election. If you have moved within the same county but to a different precinct, and have moved more than 30 days of Election Day, you should notify your board of registrars by the fifth Monday prior to the election.  Otherwise vote in your OLD precinct.

Moving Between Counties

If you have moved to a different county within Georgia, and have moved within 30 days of Election Day, you can vote in your OLD precinct.  Fill out a change of address form for the next election. If you have moved to a different county within Georgia, and have moved more than 30 days of Election Day, you must register to vote in the voter’s new county of residence.  If a voter fails to register by the deadline, the voter may not vote in the election.

If the voter still thinks he or she is eligible to vote, the voter can use a provisional ballot.  If you voted a provisional ballot because your name did not appear on the list of registered voters in the precinct, the county registrar has up to three days after the election to determine if you were properly registered to vote in that election. If you were, your vote will count. If you were not eligible to vote in that election, your vote will not be counted, and you will be notified in writing. If you were eligible to vote but voted in the wrong precinct, only the votes for candidates for which you were entitled to vote will be counted, and you will be notified in writing that your ballot was partially counted for your correct precinct.

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  (https://www.fvap.gov/georgia)

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  (https://www.fvap.gov/georgia)

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters.  You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities.  You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least 5 days before the election.  If you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB.  Your FWAB must be received by your local voting officials in Georgia no later than noon on Election Day. (https://www.fvap.gov/georgia)

A citizen cannot vote in Georgia if he/she has been convicted of a felony and is currently incarcerated, on probation, or on parole.  If the entire sentence, including probation and parole, is complete, the voter may re-register and vote a regular ballot.

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

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2016 Election Information for your state