You only have a few more days to request your absentee ballot or register to vote in the November 8 General Election.

If you need to register to vote, the last day you can do so is October 11. You can register online at the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.

If you want to file an application for a paper absentee/advance ballot, you have to turn it in no later than 11 days before the election. However, you definitely should not wait that long because your absentee ballot could be delayed.

You can apply for an absentee/advance paper ballot at the Elections and Registration Office, or on your My Voter Page.

Log in, then choose the Absentee Ballot Portal tab. You’ll get the choice of downloading a blank PDF application to print out and send in, or you can click “Absentee Ballot Application” to fill out your application online.

When can you vote?

Early and advance voting starts Monday, October 17 at 8 a.m. and runs through Friday, November 4. After that, you can’t vote until Election Day, which is Tuesday, November 8.

Here’s when the eight early and advance voting locations will be open:

  • Monday, Oct. 17 – Friday, Oct. 21: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 22: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 23: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 24 – Friday, Oct. 28: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 29: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 30: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 31 – Friday, Nov. 4: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What ID do I need to bring to the polls?

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office lists these seven acceptable forms of voter ID:

  • Any valid state or federal government-issued photo ID, including a free ID card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services
  • A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired
  • Student ID from a Georgia public college or university
  • 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 this state 
  • Valid U.S. passport ID 
  • Valid U.S. military photo ID containing a photograph of the voter
  • Valid tribal photo ID containing a photograph of the voter

What do I need to bring to get a free voter ID?

If you don’t have a driver’s license and need a free Georgia voter ID card, you can get one at Clayton County Elections and Registration, 121 S. McDonough Street (the Historic Courthouse) in Jonesboro. Park in the lot and go to the back entrance. Then you will be directed up the stairs or ramp to the office. Cards are issued from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

You will need to bring all four of these items:

  1. A photo identity document, or a non-photo identity document (must include voter’s full legal name and date of birth); and
  2. Documentation showing voter’s date of birth; and
  3. Evidence that voter is registered to vote in Georgia; and
  4. Documentation showing voter’s name and address of principal resident.

What if I don’t have all this paperwork?

You can still vote a provisional ballot if you swear (or affirm) that you are the same person on your voter’s certificate. Your vote will be counted if registrars can verify your current and valid identification during the provisional ballot verification period.

Where can I vote early/absentee?

We made you a map of early voting and absentee ballot drop box locations:

Clayton County has eight secure drop boxes around the county in various community centers:

Who and what is on the ballot?

Here’s a sample ballot from the Clayton County Elections and Registration Office:

Who are my elected officials?

Look up your voter registration card on the My Voter Page. You’ll see several codes like this:

In this example, the voter lives in Ward 4 of Forest Park, U.S. Congressional District 5 (that’s the House of Representatives), Commission District 2 (Board of Commissioners), School Board District 7, the Clayton County Judicial Circuit (courts), Georgia House District 77 (the Gold Dome), Georgia Senate District 34 (also the Gold Dome), and votes in municipal elections run by the City of Forest Park (some cities ask the county to run their municipal elections).

How can I see who gave money to candidates?

For county-level candidates, check their mandatory Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports here.

For county, state, and some local candidates, check the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission here and here.

For federal candidates, check the Federal Election Commission here.

How can I watch the candidates debate?

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta Press Club host live televised debates. All candidates on the ballot are invited. No-shows are represented by an empty podium. A politically neutral panel of journalists asks questions. No questions are given to candidates in advance. Here’s the schedule of upcoming televised debates:

How can I see what my elected officials voted on?

You might need to do a little digging, but here’s where you can find how your elected officials voted on different pieces of legislation. Post-meeting summaries and minutes will include recorded votes. You can click on a bill number to see the final text that was passed.

Clayton County Board of Commissioners

Clayton County School Board

Georgia House

Georgia Senate

Georgia Governor vetoes and bills signed into law

U.S. House

U.S. Senate

I still have questions!

Drop The Clayton Crescent an e-mail and we’ll try to help

Overseas voters can check deadlines with the Overseas Vote Foundation and contact Clayton County Elections and Registration at

Contact the Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration

Read the Georgia Secretary of State’s Election Office FAQ page

Check out Vote411 in English and Spanish

Asian Americans Advancing Justice offers voting rights sheets in Vietnamese and says other Asian-language translations are coming.

If you value The Clayton Crescent’s reporting, we ask you to consider making a monthly gift of support today. We are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit newsroom allied with the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Unlike other local nonprofits, we do not take money from local or county government grants or from elected officials because doing so would compromise our ability to cover local government fairly.

Without independent news coverage in a given area, studies have proven that public corruption increases. We exist because other local news outlets do not consistently cover Clayton County with the same breadth and depth that we do. Nearly all other coverage you see elsewhere about Clayton County was broken first by The Clayton Crescent: events surrounding poll watchers during the 2020 Presidential election, questions about the Roman United proposed development, the COVID-19 outbreak at the Clayton County Jail, and so many other stories over the past two and a half years. Frequently, we run a story, then see it the next morning on local TV news shows or in the AJC. Our colleagues respect this operation and rely on it for planning their own news coverage.

The Clayton Crescent’s operations are funded by grants through the Institute for Nonprofit News and through your generous donations. Without the financial support of individual Clayton County residents, The Clayton Crescent cannot continue to operate.

Give now at by clicking the “Donate” button, then choosing “Monthly” and the amount that’s right for you. Then tell five of your friends about us.

We’re not a blog. We’re not Facebook. We are The Clayton Crescent, your nonprofit news source for Clayton County and the Southern Crescent. Thank you!

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

Leave a comment