What is a runoff? 

Some states have a rule where a candidate must win 50% or more of the vote in a general election to be declared a winner. When no candidate receives a majority of the votes, a runoff between the top two candidates occurs. Sometimes, this happens when there is a third party candidate who is able to receive 1-2% of the vote, preventing the other candidates from getting to 50%. Georgia is one of the states that has this rule, which is why there will be a runoff election on December 6, 2022, for the Senate race between Raphael Warnock and Hershel Walker. 

Who votes in a runoff? 

Everyone who is already registered to vote in the state in which the runoff is occurring can, and should, vote again for the runoff. There will also be early voting before December 6th. However, the deadline to register to vote before this runoff has already passed. If you want to vote by mail for the runoff make sure to apply for your absentee ballot ASAP.

What is on the ballot?

The only race on the ballot this runoff will be the Senate race for Raphael Warnock (D) and Hershel Walker (R). This is because all of the winners of the other races have already been decided.

Additional Information:

Georgia Runoff Information

NPR Article about Georgia 2022 Runoff

Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, absentee voting (voting by mail) has grown in popularity. Voting absentee is great for people who will not be in their registered state on or before election day. However, to receive an absentee ballot, in most states, you need to apply for a ballot in advance. For the upcoming midterm election, it is too late to request an absentee ballot now. Once you request your ballot, it will be mailed to the address that you provide in your application and then you will fill it out and mail it back.

However, in general, you can find an absentee ballot request form on your Secretary of State’s website. Here is the website to request an absentee ballot in Georgia.

Additional Resources:

Voting By Mail General Info

Requesting an Absentee Ballot

When to Vote

Once you have registered to vote, the next step is actually casting your vote! In most states (including Georgia) there is early voting in addition to voting on election day. To find out when your state is doing early voting check your Secretary of State’s website. In Georgia, early voting started on October 17th and will go until November 4th. If you are unable to vote early (that is what is recommended) you can vote on election day which is November 9th. However, if you plan to vote on election day, make sure you plan to wait in long lines. The lines during early voting will be a lot shorter than those on election day.

Where to Vote

Your voting location depends on where you are registered to vote. Before you go to vote make sure you check where your voting location is. You can check this on your Secretary of State’s website. Here is the website to find out where your voting location is if you are voting in Georgia.

For most states, during early voting you are able to vote at any location in your county. For Emory students, the nearest polling location for early voting is at 1599 Clifton Road.

What to Bring to the Polls to Vote

No matter when you vote, if you are going to the polls in-person this is what you need to bring with you:

  • Driver’s license or other form of identification that you used to register to vote

What not to bring:

  • Any political clothing item (a campaign shirt or anything with a party’s name on it)

Additional Resources:

Georgia Voting Guide

Voting on Election Day Guide

COVID and In-Person Voting

What are midterm elections?

Midterm elections are general elections that occur at the midpoint of a president’s four-year term in office. Just like Presidential elections, they are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This year the midterm election will be held on November 8th, 2022. Even though there is no Presidential race on the ballot, there are many important candidates for you to vote for. Members of the Senate and House of Representatives are up for elections in the midterms, as well as many local elections including gubernatorial (governor) races. Additionally, because there are no Presidential candidates on the ballot, midterm elections have the lowest voter turnout. 

Why are midterm elections important?

Although most of the national attention is focused on Presidential elections, a majority of legislation that will impact your life, is passed at the state level, not the federal level, which is why the midterms are so important. After the events that have occurred over the past year, it is more evident than ever that local elections are what cause change. More specifically, the overturning of the Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, puts abortion rights into the states’ hands. This means, the candidates that you are voting for in the midterms will have the ability to decide whether or not abortions are legal, and to what extent they are legal, in your state.

What if I don’t know anything about the candidates?

Not feeling educated about those running in your state is a very common excuse for not voting. However, you are in the right place! There is an extensive amount of resources online for you to learn about the candidates on your ballot and what issues they care about. In most states, you can even get a sample ballot to look over before the election. One website that can be helpful to learning about the candidates is https://ballotpedia.org. It is very important that you feel confident about your choices before checking off your ballot and there are many ways to ensure that you feel this way. But, it is your job to take the time and educate yourself before you get to the polls. Below are additional resources to help you learn about the midterms and who will be on your ballot in November.

Helpful Resources

Congressional, State, and Local Elections Information

Midterm Voting Guide

Find Your Sample Ballot

Midterm Participation Guide