Add this page to your book
Remove this page from your book
Voter Registration FAQ for Libraries
This information was provided during a Q&A session with Rachell Simmons from the Elections Division on June 9, 2022. A video of the session can be viewed here.
Would you please discuss the 15-day period before voter registration deadlines and reporting daily?
The reason for the 15-day period is the volume of registrations that our office receives prior to the voter registration deadline for a primary or election. We have the world wanting to know the statistics of where people are registering to vote. Having the daily count helps us with open records requests and media inquiries, and for budgetary purposes. We’re hoping to do a clean-up bill for the next legislative session because some of the laws in place for these processes are somewhat outdated, but we are not sure what the decision will be yet on the 15-day period.
Can we send declination reports on behalf of our two-county library system regionally or does each branch have to send their own?
Yes, you can send one report for your entire library system. Each branch does not have to send in their own, though if that’s easier, that is okay too.
If we mail registrations daily, can we email declination reports weekly?
Yes, you can send the declinations with the weekly numbers, or you can send the Agency Recap Form including the declinations with your daily registrations.
Instructions read… ‘You may either include a daily recap sheet with your submittal or you may print or stamp the following on the prepaid envelope: Supervisor and Facility Name, Address, Phone Number.' If that is the case, we can skip the daily recap sheet?
If you want to include the number on the envelope, that is acceptable. We receive many, many envelopes that do not have the name of the facility or don’t include the recap sheet. The more information you include, the better, to ensure we have the most accurate information.
What is the protocol for sending the declination report?
Please mail the Agency Recap Form including the number of declinations weekly. These can be mailed to the Secretary of State’s Office or emailed to the contact listed here.
Why isn’t maintaining the statistical records in PINES sufficient rather than submitting weekly emails?
We have a report that we use to track the libraries and county agencies. Having the weekly emails is helpful in keeping the report up to date.
Do we count name and address changes as registrations?
No, as the person is already registered to vote.
How are other agencies reporting information?
DFCS, Health, and WIC agencies report by using the Agency Recap Form. They mail everything to our office, so we are working on changing the reporting to email or a possible webform.
What does the SOS do with the numbers that are submitted? Why is it necessary to know how many are declined? How many have already registered? How many took the form? How many are not eligible?
The numbers are used for budgetary purposes, media inquiries, open records requests, and lawsuits. We also use the numbers to decide how many voter registration applications we need to order each fiscal year. These numbers are so important going into the next election budget (2024) because of the paper supply chain issues that are involved in ordering more registration forms.
If a person took a form home, can it be counted as a completion instead of a declination?
No, this would not be counted as a declination (or a registration), as we don’t know for sure if the person submitted the form or not.
My system uses the PINES report to retrieve the number of declinations, and it also provides the number of registrations. Sometimes our number of registrations doesn't match the physical number to send. When the numbers don't match we feel it's because someone said they were going to register and then decided to take the form home. Is it okay for those numbers not to match? Do we need to track the reason they don't match?
It is okay if the numbers don’t match. People do take the forms home instead of submitting them on the spot, and that’s probably the main reason the numbers don’t match. You don’t need to track the reason why the numbers don’t match.
For non-PINES libraries we are expected to use and retain physical copies of the Agency Based Voter Registration Declaration Statement for 2 years. Is this still the case, even if we also track registration/declination/already registered status and numbers in our ILS? Is there an updated version of this form available? The one we have on file is several years old, and we want to make sure the address information is correct.
Yes, there is an updated form, and that’s something we’re trying to make available on the website. Regarding retaining physical copies, the law has not changed so yes, these should be retained.
What is the best way to order voter registration forms, cover sheets, and envelopes from the Secretary of State? The website link we have been using is inactive, and we haven’t been able to find how to do this on the new website.
Please email the contact listed here.
Will it ever be possible for us to report voter registrations the way that the DMV does?
I can see this as a potential possibility in the future. With DDS, the numbers are reported to us through a database and we are provided an overnight report. That endeavor was about three years in the making, but that’s something I can certainly present to the SOS team to see if that is an option for libraries.
Are there any regulations regarding third-party voter registration drives at libraries?
Please visit this link for information on voter registration drives: https://sos.ga.gov/page/voter-registration-drive.
When mailing on behalf of the voter, it is much easier for our staff to make a copy of a person’s driver’s license and include it in the voter application and mail as-is than it is to keep track of the white envelopes. We are mailing those in daily and then doing the declination reports. Is that okay?
When you send applications in, even if on behalf of someone, it should be noted that they are coming from a library, so we can track where the applications are coming from. If sending in without a copy of the license, the county will contact the person about providing identification, so you are saving them a step.
We have 3 libraries in our system, only 1 library is reporting declination totals. Is that okay?
If the one library is reporting on behalf of all three libraries, that is acceptable. But if the one library is just reporting its own numbers, the other two libraries should do so as well.
Now that we know that numbers must be reported weekly, and are going back to submit previously unsent information, is it going to be an issue if we re-report weeks that were previously submitted via mail, or do you only want weeks not previously submitted?
It’s no problem if you happen to repeat numbers.
If we do not have any registrations to mail in, do we still submit a recap form?
Yes, please still submit a recap form.
Is there any chance libraries can get an updated version of the slideshow of the requirements. Our old one was very helpful.
Yes, I am working on creating an updated slideshow and webpage (date TBD).
In the 15-day period before a registration deadline when we have to report daily, does this mean 7 days a week, Sunday through Monday?
Monday through Friday is sufficient. You do not need to send in daily reports Saturday and Sunday.
How does one change the legal Business name on the Secretary of State’s Annual Registration form? Our IRS Employer Identification Number and tax letter feature our new legal name (changed in the 90’s) and our Secretary of State annual business registration lists our old legal name from 1963? This is complicating our ability to register with SAM.gov using the UEI system.
You can change the name of the entity at the following link: https://ecorp.sos.ga.gov/
- Online Services
- Log In
- Business Amendment
- Name Change Only tab