Importance of Voting
Georgia’s general elections are on Nov. 8, 2022. These elections will decide races for the key positions that will impact not only our educational system but our city and state as a whole. You will have the opportunity to vote on the critical role of the State Superintendent, which is the person with the power to determine the school districts and budgets for the entire state, setting the future of Atlanta schools.
You might ask yourself, “does my vote even matter?” Of course it does! Voting is a critical way to be civically engaged and help shape the future of education in Atlanta. We believe that the knowledge, experiences, and strengths of community members, like you, are essential in building a brighter and more sustainable future for our young people.
Whether you’re the most civically engaged person or growing in your role of motivating your networks to vote in every election, not encouraging your neighbors and friends to vote comes with consequences. Two things that come to mind are A.) The continued achievement gap between minorities and disadvantaged students versus their white counterparts and B.) Ongoing income immobility. Children having access, or not having access, to education determines their future outcomes.
Additionally, you will be able to vote for U.S. Senate and House representatives, state Senate and House representatives, Georgia governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and other state executive offices, as well as several state high courts.
Make a Voting Plan
With such an important election coming up, making a plan to vote will ensure that your voice is heard.
The first step to making a voting plan is registering to vote or check your registration status. You can register online or by mail if you are eligible.
If you are already registered to vote, it is important to check your registration status to ensure that your information is still correct in the system and to know where your polling location is if you choose to vote in person early or on election day.
The deadline to register for this election is Oct. 11, 2022. Please note, if you are not registered by that date, you won’t be able to vote in the November election.
- Absentee Ballot Voting
Absentee ballots are an option for registered voters who prefer not to vote in person or will be out of town on the election day. You do not need an excuse to request an absentee ballot, but you must request an absentee ballot in order to receive one in the mail.
Once you receive your ballot, you will fill it out, and follow all instructions to submit it. Your County Registrar’s Office must receive your ballot before the polls close on election day to be counted.
- Early Voting
Early voting helps voters avoid crowds or find a time to vote that’s better for their schedules in the weeks prior to election day. This is done in person in the same way that one would vote in person on election day. Early voting in Georgia is Oct. 17-23.
The assigned voting location for early voting may be different from your assigned location for election day voting. Be sure to check where you will need to go to cast your ballot.
- Voting in Person on Election Day
Voting in person on election day requires individuals to arrive at their assigned polling station on Nov. 8, 2022, to cast their ballot. Be sure to check your registration status to ensure you go to the correct polling location between the hours that the location is open.
Many employers in the state of Georgia are required by law to give you time off to allow you to vote on election day. Paid administrative leave for voting is available to employees when their work schedule does not allow them at least two hours, including travel, to vote either before or after work. Employees who are scheduled to begin work at least two hours after the polls open or end work at least two hours before the polls close are not eligible to request paid leave for voting. Administrative leave for voting is not available for voting mid-day.
Discover Candidates’ Stances and Nonpartisan Resources
Information is a powerful tool. After you’ve made a voting plan, learn more about the candidates fighting for a seat and explore nonpartisan resources to be fully informed as you cast your vote. These resources can act as a guide for you to discover who is running for each position, as well as how each candidate feels about important issues to you and your community.
Look, voter fatigue is real, but local elections are just as important as presidential elections, especially with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. Arguably, they are even more significant because the people elected are making decisions about your typical everyday operations like getting clean water to your home, ensuring your trash is collected, and in the case of children, the overall quality of schools and public education.
At redefinED atlanta, we are committed to partnering with you to advocate for an equitable public education that provides students with the knowledge and tools to pursue their passions, realize their full potential, and better their community and society. This vision is not possible without the voices and votes of our collective community, especially during such a pivotal election for our state.
Together, we can shape the future of Atlanta education for the better.