Election Season Officially Underway!

A photo of Charlie Miller, a young caucasian, brunette man, wearing glasses, a gray suit, a white shirt, and a light blue tie
Charlie Miller,
GCDD Legislative
Advocacy Director

Hello Advocates!

How in the world are you doing?

We have officially celebrated our nation’s 248th birthday. The hamburgers are cooked, and fireworks have gone off, and now it is time to get ready to do one of the most important things a country can do, go and vote for the people that you want to see represent you and your communities! 

The upcoming election is set for November 5th, 2024. In this election, we will not only be voting on who will be the next president of the United States, as well as our federal representatives but also our state and local officials will also be determined. 

In this article, we will go over who is on the ballot, how to be prepared to vote, and how we can ensure candidates are listening to the disability community in Georgia. We will start with the highest office and work our way down. This will not break down each district, but it will give you a good idea of what is coming up and how to find this information. 

The United States will hold the next presidential election on November 5th, 2024. The election winner will officially take office on January 20th, 2025. 

The two presidential candidates are currently President Joe Biden (Democrat) and former President Donald Trump (Republican). It is important to ensure you look not only at who is running for office but also at what policies they prioritize and follow and what they want to do for our country. By visiting each candidate’s campaign website, you can see if their priorities focus on disability. 

Speaking of federal elections, we must also watch out for the U.S. House of Representatives candidates. Currently, all 14 Federal House districts are up for election. This is a great time to look to see who represents your district. We also need to take a close look at some of our legislative districts that have changed due to redistricting. 

This is where the state legislator draws new congressional and state legislative district boundaries. This happens every 12 years, and the United States Census is one way they determine the legislative districts. 

This will not affect all Georgians, as some state and federal districts have stayed the same. If you do not know your district, you can find out by visiting the following link: https://ballotpedia.org/Sample_Ballot_Lookup.

Getting to Know What District You Are in and How It Affects Your Community

Leaving the federal officials and focusing more on our state and local officials, Georgia has 236 state Senate and House members, and they are all currently campaigning for your vote! Georgia citizens can greatly impact state services and supports, especially those needed in the disability community. 

Your state legislators determine Georgia’s 3.5-billion-dollar budget, which affects things like roads and infrastructure, education, and funding for state agencies that provide services for people with disabilities, including the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) and the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA). 

All these services are important to the disability community, and we must work together to ensure the Georgia General Assembly prioritizes what we advocate for. When reaching out to your state representatives, you should also consider reaching out to anyone else who is running for that position. 

Georgia is unique in that some races are more competitive than others. Candidates running for office should be abreast of all issues, big or small, affecting their constituents and be very knowledgeable about those topics to understand how to address them.

 We must remember that state legislators only work part-time, so they may not know how important disability issues are. You have a great opportunity to be a leader by advocating for disability issues and sharing that with leaders in your community by getting to know your state representatives! Remember that candidates may not know how the state of Georgia supports people with disabilities. 

We can show them firsthand the important issues to us and how having well-funded disability services can benefit all Georgians.  

How to vote and where 

Since the 2020 election, the world has paid special attention to Georgia voters. Georgians could vote using an absentee ballot and putting it into a drop box if they could not vote in person or by mail. After the 2020 election, the Georgia General Assembly changed how Georgians accessed drop boxes. 

The new state law was updated, where voters now only have access to a drop box in their election site in their county, which is now only accessible Monday through Friday during business hours. Because of this, it has put another burden on making sure things are as accessible as possible, especially for individuals with disabilities.

Important Dates

The following are some very important dates that we must remember to make sure our vote counts!

October 7, 2024, is the last day to register to vote in Georgia. This also includes the fact that if you are registering via post-mail, the postmark needs to be 29 days before Election Day.

To request an absentee ballot, you need to submit that by October 25, 2024. You can do that by Following this guide from the Georiga.GOV website at https://georgia.gov/vote-absentee-ballot/

The last day to return the absentee ballot is November 5, 2024. You can track your ballot and verify it was accepted by logging into Georgia’s My Voter Page at https://mvp.sos.ga.gov/s/. Look for the Absentee Ballot Request Information section to learn the status.

Early in-person Voting Begins Monday, October 14, 2024 until Friday, November 1, 2024

Election day is Tuesday, November 5th, 2024.

We are still in the early stages of the election session. This is a great time to look over who is running for office in your district so that you can be prepared to make an informed decision when going to the polls. If you need more support or have basic voting questions, visit www.gcdd.org or contact 404-657-2126.