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The deadline to register for the midterm elections in the State of Georgia is October 9th.

I got a lot to say, but I wanted to get that out there first.

If you have not yet registered, you can go to sos.ga.gov and click on ELECTIONS. Then click on REGISTER TO VOTE. If you can’t remember that by the time you click away to the other tab, do a search on “secretary of state georgia” and the Google will take you right there.

“But, Sheila,” you might say, “I’m already registered to vote. Why should I worry about this?”

“But, you theoretical person,” I will say in reply, “Are you quite sure you’re still registered?”

Since the post-Gorsuch Supreme Court decision allowing states to purge people from the voter rolls if they haven’t voted lately, many states have been busy getting rid of people who only vote presidentially, and, even then, only if they feel like it. There was a special election in March. In July, there was a primary and non-partisan general election (which means that even if you don’t vote Democrat or Republican, you still had people to vote for). If you skipped March and July, or maybe even just July, you could potentially be stripped of your right to vote and have to register all over again.

“But, Sheila,” you might ask, “How will I know? It would be awful to go all the way to the polling place and find out that I’m not registered anymore, since by then it will be too late to register for the election!”

“Rest easy, theoretical person,” I will reply, “It’s actually quite easy to find out.”

Go to mvp.sos.ga.gov. (If the link doesn't work, just type it in.) MVP stands for My Voter Page, but if Most Valuable Player sticks it in your memory better, go with that. You can also get there by Googling your way to the Secretary of State website, and clicking on WHERE DO I VOTE? (MVP). Under where it says MVP Login put your information in from your voter registration—your first initial, your last name (according to the voter rolls—if you’re like me and have a weird name with an apostrophe or something in it, go with the version that the computer system has mutilated it into), your county of residence (more on that in a sec) and your date of birth.

An aside—if your place of residence now is different than the place of residence you had when you registered to vote, then go fix that shit, okay? Just go to where you get registered and update your registration. Otherwise, some bozo on Fox News is going to parade you around as evidence of rampant voter fraud, even if you’re the only one they have the goods on. Plus, you’d end up voting for local elections that have no bearing on your actual situation.

So. Anyway. So you put in your info and you have a Your Voter Page. (Yeaye!) The big thing that it will have is your designated polling place. This is the place you go to do your voting if you vote on the actual day of the election. If you’ve voted before, pay very close attention to this because they’ve been changing them! I found this out when I was going through writing this—my polling place has changed from High Point Elementary School to High Point Episcopal Community Church. Why, it’s almost as if they were expecting me to glance at it, see the words “High Point” and not read any further, so I could show up at High Point Elementary and not have time to get to the other polling station.

I hardly ever vote on the actual day, because Georgia is enlightened enough—yes, I used the words “enlightened” and “Georgia” in the same sentence, but work with me here—to have early voting. To find out when and where you can early vote, click the link labeled “Click here for Early Voting Locations and Times” and scroll through to see what works best for you. If you’ve voted before and you use early voting, definitely check to make your your usual early voting polling place is still on the list. Because, guess what, mine isn’t. I normally vote at the North Fulton Annex, and I scrolled up and down and it’s not there. I’m not sure what it is about my neck of the woods that’s so threatening to Brian Kemp—who is not only the Secretary of State, but the Republican Candidate for Governor—but I have to drive to Buckhead now if I want to vote early in a convenient fashion.

So you’re registered and you’ve picked out where you’re going to vote. You know you’re voting for Stacy Abrams—which I sincerely hope you are—and you’re good, right?

[maniacal laugh] No.

You need to know in advance what is going to be on the ballot. Everything.

“But, Sheila,” you might inquire, “How I can find out what’s going to be on the ballot before I set foot in the voting booth?”

“Come now, theoretical person,” I will answer, “Surely you’ve figured this one out by now.”

“The My Voter Page!” you could exclaim.

“Precisely!” I would naturally respond.

On the left side of Your Voter Page, you will find your personal details according to the voter rolls. If anything is askew, you can click the Change Voter Information button and they will blink you over to the page to register to vote. Below that button is a link that says “Click here for Sample Ballots”. Click it. You’ll get a little pop-up with some disclaimers and a little link that will say, for this election at least, “Sample Ballot (Non-Partisan)”. Click that. You will get a lovely PDF with everything there is to be voted for on it.

This is important because this is one of those elections where amendments to the Georgia Constitution are voted on, as well as tax exemptions and local or municipal issues. If you don’t vote, somebody else is going to decide these things. And if you don’t have time to do your research, you might wind up falling for the tricky wording of a constitutional amendment and voting for something really bad. I just looked at my options today and I’m still holding off on making a decision until I’ve had time to do some research on whether “business courts” are a good idea or not.

So there you have it. You, too, can be ready for the midterm elections in the State of Georgia.

I was going to have a big rant about why you should vote, but I’m going to distill it down to this:

Look at the White House. This is what apathy gets you.

The deadline to register for the midterm elections in the State of Georgia is October 9th.

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