Emory employs over 30,000 faculty and staff members across its enterprise. As one of the largest employers in metro Atlanta, the university and healthcare system play a vital role in the community. One way Emory aims to support community and encourage active citizenship is by providing resources and policies to make voting easier. Below we outline steps to take and an overview of the voting process.

The first step a staff or faculty member should take is to check their voter registration status and register or update information as needed. All members of the Emory community have access to TurboVote, an online platform designed to make registering to vote and remembering dates much easier. If you haven’t already done so, check out this link and sign up today. We’ve created a tutorial to walk Emory community members through using TurboVote. 

TurboVote not only helps you register to vote, it also sends out reminders about dates, assists with absentee ballot requests, provides details on polling locations, and offers a help desk staffed by real people. (Important: TurboVote does not register you to vote. It assists with the process.)

The next step is to make a plan about when and how to vote. Georgia voters have three options: voting by mail (absentee ballot), voting early in person at any advanced polling location in your county, and voting on Election Day at your assigned local precinct. See more below.

Before you cast your ballot, make sure you’ve done your research to know what’s on your ballot.  Georgia voters can view their My Voter Page for a sample ballot listing the candidates and seats they’ll be voting on, as well as polling places and times. 

Absentee voting requires planning ahead to ensure you have enough time to return your ballot. The Emory Votes Initiative strongly endorses this method due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Georgia residents with state driver's licenses may now request absentee ballots through the state’s ballot request website. All other eligible Georgia voters will need to submit absentee ballot request forms by paper, including a copy of acceptable ID. Drop boxes will be fewer and less accessible in 2021 than in 2020. More information can be found on the EVI website. Faculty and staff planning to vote in another state should consult TurboVote or howto.vote for applicable deadlines. 

Getting to the polls early is another way to avoid large crowds while exercising your rights. Voters have more flexibility with dates and can choose a time that works best for them. Many weekdays and some weekend days are included. Generally, there are fewer polling places during this period; you can vote early at any advanced voting location in the county where you are registered to vote. To find out your options, log into your My Voter Page. Emory’s voting policy allows employees time to vote either early or on Election Day.

Lines are usually longest on Election Day itself, so it’s important to make a plan before you go. Double-check your registration status and polling place for any last-minute changes, pack your best mask, any required photo ID , comfortable clothes and shoes, possible snacks or water, and head out to participate safely and patiently in our democracy’s most sacred ritual of civic engagement.

In 2020, the university updated its policy on voting. Per Voting Policy (Policy 4.89), Emory employees are allowed to take up to 4 hours (an increase from 2 hours) of paid time to vote. These hours may be used for early voting or on Election Day. Any employee intending to use this paid time should inform their manager ahead of time.

  • Monday, October 4: Voter registration deadline to be eligible to vote in November 2 general election and November 30 general runoff

  • Tuesday, October 12­ to Friday, October 29: Early (advanced in-person) voting

  • Tuesday, October 12: Earliest day for a registrar to mail out an absentee ballot

  • Friday, October 22: Last day to submit your absentee ballot application

  • Tuesday, November 2: General election (Election Day). In-person voting 7 a.m.–7 p.m. at your assigned local precinct only. Any mailed absentee ballots must reach county boards by 7 p.m. to count.

  • Tuesday, November 30: Georgia runoff elections

Become a Poll Worker or Poll Watcher

While they sound similar, poll workers and poll watchers play distinct but crucial roles in elections. Poll workers power the polls by staffing the locations. They oversee the logistics of each polling place. Poll watchers ensure the democratic process is conducted with integrity. These nonpartisan monitors play a pivotal role in ensuring the process is fair for voters. More information on both opportunities can be found here.

EVI Voter Resources

There’s a ton of information available on voting, and digesting it all can be overwhelming. EVI has created a short guide with the most crucial resources all compiled on one document. It’s intended to cut through the noise and provide the information you need to know in one place. Check it out here.