How Do I Vote by Absentee Ballot in Georgia?

The 2020 presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 3 is poised to be unlike any other with the country in the midst of a global pandemic. Due to COVID-19, states have been reviewing their election plans and some have expanded voting by mail as an option for those who are concerned about possible exposure.

Absentee voting entails sending a mail-in ballot before Election Day. There is no difference between absentee voting and “mail-in voting” or “by-mail voting.” People tend to use the three terms interchangeably to mean the same thing. An April 2020 Pew Research Center national survey found broad support for a mail-in voting option with 70% of Americans saying they favor allowing any voter to vote by mail if desired.

In Georgia, people voting by mail do not need to provide a reason for voting absentee. Any voter is allowed to request a ballot by mail.

To register to vote by Absentee Ballot in Georgia, follow these steps:

Make Sure You’re Registered

To vote via absentee ballot, you must first be registered to vote.

Fill Out & Submit an Absentee Ballot Application

To vote by absentee ballot, you must first fill out, sign, and submit an absentee ballot application. You can do this online, by mail, by fax, or in person.

Submit your absentee ballot application by the specified deadline. Absentee ballots may be requested any time between 180 days prior to the election and the end of the business day on the Friday before Election Day. View a list of upcoming elections and registration deadlines on the Secretary of State’s election calendar.

Submit Online through Georgia’s new paperless absentee ballot request system

Submit by Mail

Submit by Fax

Submit in Person


After your county elections office reviews your application, you will receive your ballot at the postal address you noted on your application. If you’re a UOCAVA voter who has requested it, you may receive it by electronic transmission. The time frame for receiving your absentee ballot will depend, in part, on the type of election being held. You can read the Secretary of State’s guide to absentee voting for details.

  1. Fill out your absentee ballot according to the instructions provided. You will receive all the forms and envelopes necessary for marking and return of the ballot. Failure to complete your ballot correctly could cause your ballot not to be counted.
  2. Mail your completed ballot. For voters within the country, all absentee ballots must arrive at your county election office by Election Day. You can also drop your absentee ballot off at a drop-off location in your county. Contact your county registrar for available drop-off locations. If you’re currently a military or overseas voter and you post your absentee ballot on Election Day, make sure it arrives within 3 days.

Next Steps

  • Verify that your ballot was accepted by visiting the Georgia My Voter Page. Log in and look for the box labeled Absentee Ballot Request Information to find out more about your absentee ballot status.
  • If your ballot was rejected, contact your county registrar to get more information and find out what your options are.
  • If you do not receive your absentee ballot after submitting your application, contact your county registrar.
  • To allow enough time to resolve any issues that may arise, it is recommended that you request an absentee ballot well in advance of Election Day. As a reminder, absentee ballots may be requested up to 180 days prior to the election.


All absentee ballots must be in the hands of county Election Officials by the time polls close on Election Day, Nov.3. An initial ruling by a judge allowed ballots postmarked by Election Day to be counted, but that has since been overturned. Read more here.

Information from the state of Georgia and ABC News

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