Atlanta Voter Toolkit

View of unidentified individuals voting at a fire station in Atlanta, Georgia, ca. 1978. | Boyd Lewis Photograph Collection, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center | VIS 101.559.006

We’re in it! For the first time since our founding nearly a century ago, Atlanta History Center served as an early voting location and a polling place on November 3. We’re proud to be a community resource on Election Day and beyond, providing Atlantans with the tools to make history.

It seems especially pertinent in 2020 that Atlanta History Center would serve as a polling place. This year marks the centennial of the 19th amendment, which granted women suffrage, and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which toppled barriers put in place to silence historically marginalized groups across the country.

This year, we have used the lens of citizenship to explore different aspects of our city’s past. From Black women’s struggle for suffrage to Atlanta’s winning of the bid to host the 1996 Olympic Games, there’s much to learn about what it means to be an active and engaged member of the community.

In that spirit, we’ve created a toolkit to help Georgians prepare to exercise their right to vote, select the method by which they vote, and to identify and report instances of voter intimidation—on November 3 and beyond. If you’d like to learn more about registering to vote, Georgia’s Voter ID Laws, how to volunteer as a paid poll worker, check out our Voter Registration resource guide.

Don’t forget your mask!

A brief history

As John Lewis reminded us, “the vote is sacred.” Over the years activists like Lewis advocated for an end to voter discrimination—and often faced violent opposition. Since the first Civil Rights Act of 1870, our nation has evolved towards protecting Americans’ right to vote and lower the barrier of entry to exercise that right. Here’s an overview of each federal voting rights legislation and its implications on the electorate.

Your story matters

Like all other aspects of life in 2020, voting looks different this year. We invite you to share your stories with us through the Atlanta Corona Collective, an initiative created with the aim of documenting Atlantans’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Did the pandemic change the way by which you voted? How did you cast your ballot this year?
  • Did you participate in mail in or early voting for the first time during the 2020 election?
  • What was your experience like waiting in line to vote? Did you experience a long, socially distant wait?
  • Did you volunteer as a poll worker or poll watcher?
  • Did you help register people to vote ahead of the election?

We’re asking for any items (e.g. objects, video, audio, photography, papers, typed stories or personal reflections, etc.) that you feel capture your pandemic experience. For more specific examples of the types of materials we are looking for, please read our blog post.

The stories and materials of the Atlanta Corona Collective will be important research and teaching tools and allow all of us to share these experiences in the future.

Know. Before You Go.