DeKalb County Voter Guide: August 11, 2020 Runoff

Below, we’ve provided you everything you need to know to vote in the August 11th runoff election.

Still have questions? Call Matthew at 678-631-8820.

WHEN

Mark your calendar! The first thing you need to know are your deadlines. Below are the key dates for Georgia’s August 11th primary runoff election.

  • Monday, May 11, 2020––Voter registration deadline
  • Monday, July 20, 2020––In-person early voting begins
  • Tuesday, August 11, 2020––Election Day

Check your voter registration: https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov


HOW & WHERE

Because of COVID-19, you have even more ways to cast your ballot than normal. Although all Georgians are strongly urged to vote by absentee ballot either via mail or drop-box (keep reading), you can decide which manner of voting is right for you.

If you do decide to vote in-person either early or on Election Day, please heed CDC guidance by wearing a cloth face mask, observing 6-feet social distancing while around others, and using hand sanitizer before and after touching common surfaces.

You have three ways to vote:

(1) Absentee/Paper Ballot

Voting by absentee/paper ballot is a 3-step process. First, you have to request an absentee ballot be mailed to you. You can request an absentee ballot here.

Once you receive your absentee ballot, you’ll need to mark your selections and secure the ballot in the envelope/mailing sleeve provided with the ballot. Keep reading for information about each candidate and referendum item on your ballot.

Finally, you’ll need to return your ballot to the DeKalb Board of Elections Office no later than Election Day. You can do this two different ways.

  • Via Mail: Place your ballot in the mail, ensuring that you’ve attached sufficient postage and allowed enough time for your ballot to reach the Board of Elections no later than Election Day (allow at least 3-4 days to be safe).
  • Via Drop box: In response to COVID-19, the State Elections Board recently approved a new rule to allow voters to physically return their ballots to the County Board of Elections by placing it in a drop box so as to avoid person-to-person contact (and without having to pay for postage to return it via mail). You must return your ballot no later than Election Day for it to be counted.
    • DeKalb County has five drop boxes scattered throughout the county:
      • Exchange Park – 2771 Columbia Drive Decatur, GA 30034
      • Brookhaven City Hall – 4362 Peachtree Rd NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319,
      • Stonecrest City Hall – 3120 Stonecrest Blvd., Stonecrest, GA 30038
      • Stone Mountain City Hall – 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
      • Dunwoody City Hall – 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. NE, Dunwoody, GA 30338
      • Voter Registration Office – 4380 Memorial Dr., Decatur, GA 30032 (2 drop boxes)

(2) In-person Early Voting (starting July 20, 2020)

Starting Monday, July 20th, you may cast your vote in-person at any of the early voting polling sites available throughout Fulton County.

The full list of early voting sites and times is included below.

(3) Election-Day Voting (August 11, 2020)

On Election Day (Tuesday, August 11th), polls will be open from 7a–7p. Unlike for early voting, on Election Day, you may only cast your ballot at your specific polling location.

Find your polling location here.


WHO & WHAT

As you make your plan to vote in the August 11th election, keep in mind that it’s a runoff for the primary and nonpartisan elections held on June 9th. In races where no candidate received higher than 50% of the vote, a runoff is required by state law.

Download your personalized sample ballot here.

PARTISAN BALLOT RACES

  • DeKalb County Commissioner, District 1
    • Q&A: You can read responses from the candidates in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • Q&A: You can also read responses from the candidates in the DeKalb Champion Newspaper here.
  • DeKalb County Commissioner, District 6
    • DEMOCRATIC BALLOT:
      • Maryam Ahmad – website
        • Q&A: You can read Ms. Ahmad’s responses at Decaturish.com here.
      • Edward “Ted” Terry – website
        • Mr. Terry is the former Mayor of Clarkston, who was briefly in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
        • Q&A: You can read Mr. Terry’s responses at Decaturish.com here.

NONPARTISAN BALLOT RACES

  • SPECIAL ELECTION: Sheriff, DeKalb County (to fill the unexpired term of Jeffrey Mann, Resigned)
    • BACKGROUND:
      • The winner of what would have been the March 24 special election will fill the unexpired term of former Sheriff Jeffrey Mann, who retired in November amid a battle over his law enforcement certification. Melody Maddox was sworn in as his replacement and is currently serving as Sheriff; however, state law requires a special election take place when a resignation occurs. Thus, Sheriff Maddox is currently serving until August 12th.
      • Because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote in the special election held on June 9th, a runoff election between the top two vote-getters is taking place on August 11. The winner of this runoff will take over as sheriff until the end of 2020, when Mann’s unexpired term ends.
      • While this is going on, the election for the next full term of DeKalb Sheriff is also taking place. On June 9th, Incumbent Sheriff Melody Maddox received more than 50% of the vote in the Democratic primary. She will face Republican Harold Dennis on November’s ballot to determine who will fill the next full term that begins January 1, 2021.
      • In the meantime, this runoff election will determine who will fill the unexpired term from August 12–December 31, 2020.
    • Q&A: You can read responses by the candidates to recent questions from the DeKalb Champion newspaper here.
    • Q&A: Additionally, the Georgia NAACP and Informed Georgians for Justice have posted answers by the candidates to their survey on criminal justice issues here.
    • Q&A: You can also read responses from the candidates in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • FORUM: Also, you can read coverage of a recent candidate forum here.
    • CANDIDATES:
      • Melody M. Maddox (Incumbent) – website
        • Sheriff Maddox is the current DeKalb County Sheriff; the first woman to serve in that position full-time. She became sheriff in December 2019 upon the retirement of then-Sheriff Jeffrey Mann. She previously served as Chief of Police for Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
      • Ruth “The Truth” Stringer (Democrat) – website
        • Ms. Stringer is a Marine Corps veteran who briefly served as interim sheriff in 2017. She is a retired Major from the DeKalb Sheriff’s Department, having served 30 years.
  • Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court, Judge (to succeed Judge Clarence “Chuck” Seeliger)
    • Yolanda C. Parker-Smith – website
      • Ms. Parker-Smith is an Atlanta public defender with 16 years of legal experience.
      • You can read responses from Ms. Parker-Smith in the Reporter Newspaper’s Voter Guide here.
    • Melinda “Mindy” Pillow – website
      • Ms. Pillow is in private practice in Decatur with 14 years of legal experience.
  • DeKalb County Board of Education, District 3
    • Willie R. Mosley, Jr.
    • Deirdre Pierce