The Gist

Voting is underway in the 2022 primaries to decide which candidates will compete for governor, secretary of state and other top offices in the November 8 general election.

For most Georgians, this year marks their first encounter with sweeping changes state lawmakers made to election laws last year in response to public concerns over voter integrity in the 2020 presidential contest.

Here’s what you need to know about what’s changed before you head to the polls or send a ballot in the mail:

Voting By Mail

Georgia voters looking to cast ballots by mail will have less time to do so. Previously, stay-at-home voters had up to 180 days – roughly 25 weeks – to request an absentee ballot. Now, the request window is 11 weeks.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot has also been moved to two Fridays before an election, which is a week earlier than before. The last day to request a mail-in ballot is 11 days before an election, instead of 4 days.

There will also be fewer drop boxes for absentee ballots in highly populated counties. Lawmakers last year limited drop boxes to one per 100,000 voters. That shrunk Fulton County’s drop boxes from a total of 38 boxes in the 2020 election to just eight.

Additionally, absentee voters now need to give their driver’s license number or other official ID number to receive a ballot. Previously, voters only had to provide their signature on absentee ballots and request forms to verify their identity.

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