by Robin Kemp

Time is running out if you need to register to vote in the November 3 Presidential election.

If you want to cast your vote for President of the United States on Tuesday, Nov. 3, you must register to vote before 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5.

If you want to cast an absentee (paper) ballot, you first have to request one in advance. You can go online to the Georgia Secretary of State’s website or through the county elections office for a PDF application or you can mail, fax, or email go in person to the Clayton County Elections and Registration Office in the Historic Courthouse in Jonesboro and pick up a hard-copy application for yourself and for others, fill it out, and bring it back to the office. They will submit it to the Secretary of State, which usually gets the application and mails out your absentee ballot the same day. Absentee ballots seem to arrive within 2-3 days in Clayton County.

You then fill out your ballot (it is illegal for anyone to tell you how to fill it out or, in most cases, to fill it out for you, and you do not owe any politician your vote just because he or she brought you an absentee ballot application or did anything else for you).

You can either entrust your ballot to the U.S. Postal Service or bring it to a secure ballot box with 24-hour video surveillance to prevent tampering. There is a ballot box outside the Old Courthouse.

However, due to COVID-19 concerns, this election will feature ballot boxes inside the county’s recreation centers, according to State Rep. Sandra Scott. Scott said the ballot boxes were located inside because that is where the secure video cameras are.

Clayton County has two elections coming up one after the other.


The first is the Sept. 29 special election for the person who will fill the late Rep. John Lewis’ seat in House District 5, which covers parts of Clayton, Dekalb, and Fulton Counties. (If a runoff is necessary, you will need to vote again on Dec. 1.) This is the only race on the ballot:

A copy of the sample ballot for the Sept. 29, 2020
U.S. House District 5 race for the late Rep. John Lewis’ seat
(from the GA Secretary of State MVP site)

Here are the qualified candidates for that race, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. We have linked each candidate’s name to their Ballotpedia entry:

ROBERT M. FRANKLIN
4700 GUILFORD FOREST DR SW
ATLANTA GA 30331 – 7394
Email: rfrank222@aol.com
PHONE NUMBER: (404) 691-8733
PARTY: DEMOCRATIC
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: PROFESSOR
QUALIFIED DATE: 07/31/2020
WEBSITE: www.robertmfranklin.com
KWANZA HALLPARTY: DEMOCRATIC
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: COMMUNITY DEVELOPERQUALIFIED DATE: 07/31/2020
BARRINGTON D. MARTIN II
2700 JACANAR LN SW
ATLANTA GA 30331
Email: barrington@barringtonvscongress.com
PHONE NUMBER: (678) 464-3148
PARTY: DEMOCRATIC
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: EDUCATORQUALIFIED DATE: 07/31/2020
WEBSITE: votethedream.com
STEVEN MUHAMMAD
2824 CHURCH ST
EAST POINT GA 30349
Email: muhammadforcongress@gmail.com
PHONE NUMBER: (404) 903-8708
PARTY: INDEPENDENT
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
QUALIFIED DATE: 07/31/2020
WEBSITE: www.muhammadforcongress.com
CHASE OLIVERPARTY: LIBERTARIAN
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: CUSTOMER SERVICE IMPORT COORDINATOR
QUALIFIED DATE: 07/31/2020
WEBSITE: chaseforhouse.com
“ABLE” MABLE THOMAS
765 JONES AVE NW
ATLANTA GA 30314 – 3824
Email: mthomas949@gmail.com
PHONE NUMBER: (404) 921-8681
PARTY: DEMOCRATIC
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: PROGRAM DEVELOPER
QUALIFIED DATE: 07/31/2020
WEBSITE: www.ablemable.com
KEISHA SEAN WAITES
PO BOX 162972
ATLANTA GA 30321
Email: seanwaites@hotmail.com
PHONE NUMBER: (404) 538-3479
PARTY: DEMOCRATIC
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: CONSULTANT/FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE
QUALIFIED DATE: 07/31/2020
WEBSITE: www.keishawaites.com

You will be able to cast your early and advanced ballots on these days at these times:

  • Tues., Sept. 8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wed. Sept. 9 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thu., Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Fri., Sept. 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mon., Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tue., Sept. 15 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wed., Sept. 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thu., Sept. 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Fri., Sept. 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sat., Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sun., Sept. 20, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mon., Sept. 21 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Tue., Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wed., Sept. 23 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Thu., Sept. 24 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Fri., Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You can vote early and advanced at these locations:

  • Elections and Registration Office, 2nd Floor
    121 S. McDonough St.
    Jonesboro, GA 30236
  • Morrow Municipal Complex
    1500 Morrow Road
    Morrow, GA 30260
  • Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center
    3499 Rex Road
    Rex, GA 30273
  • Virginia Burton Gray Recreation Center
    1475 East Fayetteville Road
    Riverdale, GA 30274

The next election will be the Nov. 3 Presidential election, pitting Republican incumbents Donald Trump and Mike Pence against Democratic challengers Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We will update with more information about when and where to cast your vote in that historic election.

Meanwhile, it’s a good time to learn more about the candidates, the parties, and to register yourself and others if you are not already registered to vote. Some good nonpartisan sources of election and candidate information include Ballotpedia, C-SPAN, and the League of Women Voters, which offers the Vote411 website where you can get more information about voting. C-Span also carries coverage of major political events like the Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention, and organized political marches of note.

If you’re already a registered voter, visit the Georgia Secretary of State My Voter Page to get information specific to where you live and who represents you.


Here is a list of important election-related deadlines:

  • MONDAY, AUG. 31, 2020: LAST DAY TO REGISTER AND BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN SEPT. 29 SPECIAL ELECTION TO FILL U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 5 SEAT (THE LATE REP. JOHN LEWIS’ SEAT)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020: Last day to file notice of intention to be a write-in candidate and have the notice published (O.C.G.A. 21-2-133)
  • Monday, Sept. 14, 2020: Last day to file affidavit stating the notice of intention to be a write-in candidate has been published (O.C.G.A. 21-2-132)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020: Earliest day for a registrar to mail an absentee ballot for the November General Election and Special Election Runoff for local and state offices (O.C.G.A. 21-2-224)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020: U.S. House District 5 Special Election
  • MONDAY, OCT. 5, 2020: LAST DAY TO REGISTER AND BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION AND SPECIAL ELECTION RUNOFF FOR LOCAL AND STATE OFFICES (O.C.G.A. 21-2-224)
  • Monday Oct. 12, 2020 (Columbus Day): Advanced in-person (early) voting begins for the November General Election and Special Election (O.C.G.A. 21-2-385)
  • Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020: Mandatory Saturday voting for the November General Election and Special Election (O.C.G.A. 21-2-385)
  • AS SOON AS POSSIBLE: “Absentee ballots shall be mailed out as soon as possible prior to the General Election and Special Election Runoffs for Local and State Offices” (O.C.G.A. 21-2-384)
  • AS SOON AS POSSIBLE: “Advanced In Person (Early) Voting begin for the General and Special Election Runoffs for Local and State Offices” (O.C.G.A. 21-2-385)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020: Earliest day for a registrar to mail an absentee ballot for the General Election runoff for federal offices (21-2-384)
  • Monday, Dec. 14, 2020: Advanced in-person (early) voting begins for the General Election Runoff for Federal Offices (O.C.G.A. 21-2-385)
  • Dec. 1, 2020: Runoff for U.S. House District 5 Special Election (if necessary) to fill the late Rep. John Lewis’ seat

Stay with The Clayton Crescent for election-related information during this historic moment in American politics.

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