ACLU of Georgia

How SB202 Changes...

Early In-Person Voting and Dropboxes

Hover over the yellow boxes to see the changes

Before SB202

Early voting locations were open "during normal business hours." Counties had the discretion to expand early voting hours.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Early voting locations must be open on weekdays from 9am - 5pm. Counties have the option of extending early voting hours to a maximum of 7am - 7pm.
§21-2-385(d)(1)(b); S.B. 202 §28

CONSEQUENCES

  • Standardizes 9-5 hours that shut out working voters from voting outside those hours. 
  • Prohibits counties from offering late-night voting, as Harris Co., TX did in 2020.

Before SB202

One mandatory Saturday of early voting. Sundays optional.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Two mandatory Saturdays of early voting. Sundays optional. Does not apply to runoff elections.
§21-2-385(d)(1)(b); S.B. 202 §28

CONSEQUENCES

  • Adds additional weekend voting in rural Georgia.
  • Little change in metro Atlanta counties as additional weekend voting has typically been provided for voters.

Before SB202

Early voting could be held on observed state holidays, such as Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day. Up to counties to decide.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Prohibits early voting on observed state holidays, including Columbus/Indigenous Peoples' Day.
§ 1-4-1, §21-2-385(a); S.B. 202 §28

CONSEQUENCES

  • Voters lose an important day of early voting – Columbus/Indigenous Peoples’ Day was historically both the first and busiest day of early voting for General Elections.

Before SB202

Mobile voting units (1) were permissible.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Prohibits mobile voting units with limited exception for emergencies.
§21-2-266(b); S.B. 202 §20

CONSEQUENCES

  • Limits options for counties (i.e., Fulton) to expand early voting access to areas lacking brick-and-mortar polling sites.

Before SB202

Pursuant to emergency SEB rules, dropboxes could be outdoors and accessible 24/7.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Dropboxes must be located inside early voting sites (or election offices) and can only be accessed by voters during early voting hours.
§21-2-382(c)(1); S.B. 202 §26

CONSEQUENCES

  • Makes dropboxes functionally useless.
  • No dropbox access for voters outside of early voting times, and importantly the three days before election day.

Before SB202

Under emergency SEB rules, each dropbox was required to be under constant camera surveillance.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Each dropbox must be under constant surveillance by in-person security.
§21-2-382(c)(1); S.B. 202 §26

CONSEQUENCES

  • Increases costs associated with keeping dropboxes secure.

Before SB202

There was no cap on the number of dropboxes.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Introduces a new formula – the number of dropboxes a county may have is capped at one per 100k active voters or one per early voting site (whichever is fewer).
§21-2-382(c)(1); S.B. 202 §26

CONSEQUENCES

  • Drastically reduces the number of dropboxes in Metro Atlanta.

Before SB202

Installation of dropboxes was optional.

After SB202 (Current Law)

Each county must have at least one dropbox.
§21-2-382(c)(1); S.B. 202 §26

CONSEQUENCES

  • Ensures dropbox access (at elections offices) across the state.

Footnotes:

1: Mobile voting units are precincts on wheels, typically buses or trailers and have fixed voting schedules to travel around the county to serve voters who would not otherwise have the opportunity to early vote.