Note: This article is written for Georgia voters. However, most states offer similar services to those mentioned here and those can be located with a simple web search or with the help of Google Maps as related later in this piece.
McDonough, GA – Election Day is almost here, Georgians! You’ve listened to the candidates and examined the Constitutional Amendments. You are ready to vote.
Or, are you?
I know this seems like an obvious one. But, have you ever actually registered to vote? Yes, you need to. And, yes, if you haven’t done so, it is too late to be able to cast your vote in tomorrow’s mid-term elections.
Not sure? Georgia’s Secretary of State has a website designed specifically for those who want to confirm their voter registration. Go to My Voter Page and enter some basic information: your first initial and last name, the county you live in, and your month, day, and year of birth.
The site is a virtual treasure trove of information. Within seconds, you will receive verification of your voter registration status. If you are registered, you will also be provided with your voting district and the address of your polling site. A link to find driving directions to the polling site is also available.
For those still not quite ready to cast their votes, a link to a PDF outlining all five of the Constitutional Amendments and the single statewide referendum question is accessible, as is a link to a list of all qualified candidates for your voting precinct. Another link will even pull up a sample ballot.
For a detailed explanation of the five Constitutional Amendments, read Georgia’s Proposed 2010 Constitutional Amendments.
The referendum question is: “Shall the Act be approved which grants an exemption from state ad valorem taxation for inventory of a business?” Currently, Georgia taxes a business’ inventory, leading to many companies maintaining their inventory out of state. This is another move by the legislature to remove perceived obstacles to businesses bringing jobs to Georgia.
If you just need to know where to go to cast your vote and don’t need all the detail provided by the Secretary of State’s website, Google Maps provides quick and easy access to the proper location and provides a detailed map to get you there.
Google Maps will find your polling location for any United States address, not just Georgia. It will also provide you with a link to your state’s election website and has a link to a website to answer the question “Are You Registered to Vote?” appropriate for your location.
What To Take With You
In Georgia, you must show proof of identity if voting in person. There are six acceptable forms of identification valid for voting purposes:
Valid state or federal government issued photo I.D. – This includes Georgia’s free voter I.D. card that is available from county registrars and driver’s license services for those who have no other valid form of photo identification. It also includes student photo identification cards issued by Georgia colleges and universities. A list of acceptable educational institutions can be found here.
Georgia Driver’s License – For purposes of voting, even an expired license is valid.
Valid Government Employee Identification Badge – This can be issued by any federal, state, or local board, authority, or entity.
Valid U.S. Passport
Valid Military Photo I.D.
Valid Tribal Photo I.D.
Now, that you know where to go and what to bring, there’s no reason not to fulfill your civic duty to vote. These are the mid-terms, so lines will probably be reasonably short. Still, give yourself enough time to completely and accurately cast your vote.
If you’re not registered, go ahead and do so now. 2012 will be here before we know it.