How to Vote in Atlanta's 2021 General Runoff Election

Posted on 11/12/21 by Jessica Ravitz


En español | Runoff elections are needed to determine Atlanta’s next mayor and some city council and board of education seats, after candidates in some races failed to secure a majority (50 percent plus one vote) of the vote on Nov. 2.

The runoffs will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 30. But a sweeping voting law passed in Georgia last spring introduced new protocols to the voting process, which carry over into the runoffs and may affect how you vote.

  • Absentee or mail-in ballot voting is an option for all Georgia voters. But absentee ballots are not sent out automatically; you may need to request one. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Nov. 19.
  • Early or advance voting runs from Nov. 17 through Nov. 24. You can vote in advance at any early polling site in your county.
  • Runoffs will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 30. You must vote in your precinct and can find your poll location on the secretary of state's My Voter Page. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

How do I register to vote?

Registration closed on Oct. 4. Check your registration status by visiting the My Voter Page.

How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines? Will drop boxes be available?

Any registered Georgia voter can request an absentee ballot online, by mail, by phone or in person, and safely vote from home. 

The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the runoff election is Nov. 19. Absentee ballots must arrive at the county elections office by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. 

Completed ballots can be returned in person or by mail. 

  • In person: Ballot drop boxes are available at only some locations during early voting hours. Drop box locations in the two Atlanta counties can be found on the Fulton County website and the DeKalb County website.  
  • By mail: Mail completed ballots to your country registrar. It’s recommended that you mail your ballot at least seven days before the election. 

You can track the status of both your absentee ballot application and the actual ballot on the My Voter Page.

Can I vote in person before the runoff election?

Yes. Early voting in Fulton County will run from Nov. 17 through Nov. 24, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Unlike Election Day, when you need to go to your precinct’s polling place, during early voting you can go to any early voting location in the county.

Early voting for Atlanta residents living in DeKalb County also will run from Nov. 17 through Nov. 24, but the hours vary. Early voting polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21. Registered voters can cast their ballots at any early or advance voting location in the county. 

Information about early voting locations is available on the My Voter Page, the Fulton County election office website and the DeKalb County election office website. You can also find more information on the Georgia secretary of state’s website.  

When is the runoff election? When are polls open? And does it matter where I vote?

The runoff election is Tuesday, Nov. 30, with polls open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. You must vote in your designated precinct. Check the My Voter Page for your polling location.

What form of identification do I need to vote?

You must show an acceptable photo identification when voting in person, which can be:

  • A Georgia driver’s license, even if it’s expired
  • A valid U.S. passport
  • Any valid photo ID card issued by the state or federal government, including a free ID card issued by the Georgia Department of Driver Services or your county registrar’s office
  • A valid U.S military photo ID card
  • A valid tribal photo ID card
  • A valid employee photo ID card from any department, branch, entity or agency of the U.S. government, Georgia or any county, municipality, authority, board or other Georgia state entity

If you don’t have an acceptable form of photo identification, you can get a free voter ID card from the Department of Driver Services or any county registrar’s office.

If you have trouble getting a free voter ID card or have any questions about the identification requirements, contact your county registrar’s or election office, or the secretary of state’s Elections Division at 404-656-2871 or toll-free at 844-753-7825. TTY callers can dial 404-656-1787.

What races are on the ballot for Atlanta's runoff election?

  • Mayor: Andre Dickens vs. Felicia Moore 
  • City Council President: Natalyn Archibong vs. Doug Shipman 
  • City Council (Post 3 At-Large): Jacki Labat vs. Keisha Sean Waites 
  • City Council (District 1): Nathan Clubb vs. Jason Winston 
  • City Council (District 3): Byron Amos vs. Erika Estrada 
  • City Council (District 4): Jason Dozier vs. Cleta Winslow 
  • City Council (District 5): Liliana Bakhtiari vs. Mandy Mahoney 
  • City Council (District 12): Antonio Lewis vs. Joyce Sheperd 
  • Board of Education (District 2): Aretta Baldon vs. Keisha Carey 
  • Board of Education (District 7 At-Large): Tamara Jones vs. Kanesha “KaCey” Venning 

This guide, originally published on Aug. 3, was updated on Nov. 12 with new information about the runoff election.

Also of Interest:

This story is provided by AARP Georgia. Visit the AARP Georgia page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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