07/07/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/07/2020 15:10
(ATLANTA)-Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that to fully comply with the National Voter Registration Act, the voter registration deadline for all August 11, 2020 primary runoff elections is now July 13, 2020. This change was necessary to match the July 13 voter registration deadline that federal law sets for the federal runoffs that are part of the upcoming primary runoff election.
'The change was necessary because when federal and state law conflict, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution says that the federal law controls,' said Walter Jones, Communications Manager for Voter Education. 'In 2017, a federal judge ruled that Georgia could no longer require that voters had to be registered for the primary in order to vote in the runoff for federal elections, and that decision made it impossible to fully comply with both the NVRA and state law when federal and state elections are held on the same day.'
On July 6, 2020, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger issued a memo to Georgia's county elections officials and county registrars announcing the updated registration deadline of July 13 for the August 11 primary runoff election. The update is effective immediately.
'The Secretary of State's office explored many potential remedies to attempt to fully comply with both laws, but none were able to be successfully implemented without potentially disenfranchising voters from contests that they should be eligible to vote in, especially when taking into account county to county transfers and intra-county address updates,' said Jones.
Georgia voters who have updated their voter registration since the June 9 primary will be eligible to vote in their updated location in the August 11 primary runoff. Voters can check their registration status and confirm the location of their polling place at mvp.sos.ga.gov.
Georgia is recognized as a national leader in elections. It was the first state in the country to implement the trifecta of automatic voter registration, at least 16 days of early voting (which has been called the 'gold standard'), and no excuse absentee voting. Georgia continues to set records for voter turnout and election participation, seeing the largest increase in average turnout of any other state in the 2018 midterm election and record primary turnout in 2020, with over 1.1 million absentee by mail voters and over 1.2 million in-person voters utilizing Georgia's new, secure, paper ballot voting system.