November 3rd, 2008
06:25 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN Voter Hotline: Time off from work to vote in Georgia

Residents in Georgia have braved long lines during early voting in the state.

Residents in Georgia have braved long lines during early voting in the state.

(CNN) – Go to work or go to vote? That’s a question voters across the country will be facing Tuesday in the midst of what is expected to be record turnout for voting to determine the next occupant of the White House.

A caller from Georgia reported on CNN’s voter hotline that an employer in Marietta was only giving employees 30 minutes off to vote when state law provided for up to two hours.

CNN contacted the Georgia Secretary of State and was sent the following information about Georgia law:

§ 21-2-404. Affording employees time off to vote

Each employee in this state shall, upon reasonable notice to his or her employer, be permitted by his or her employer to take any necessary time off from his or her employment to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election for which such employee is qualified and registered to vote on the day on which such primary or election is held; provided, however, that such necessary time off shall not exceed two hours; and provided, further, that, if the hours of work of such employee commence at least two hours after the opening of the polls or end at least two hours prior to the closing of the polls, then the time off for voting as provided for in this Code section shall not be available. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may absent himself or herself as provided in this Code section.

“Basically, if you report to work at 9 a.m. or after or if you do not work after 5 p.m. or earlier, employers are not required to give you time off to vote,” Whitney Halterman, a Communications Specialist for the Georgia Secretary of State, said in an e-mail to CNN.

CNN contacted the employer mentioned in the hotline call and passed along the information about Georgia law. The employer distributed new information about getting time off to its employees.

If you live in Georgia and have questions about voting, click here to go to the Georgia Elections Division Web site or call 404-656-2871.

CNN will be tracking voter problems through Election Day. If you have a problem or see a problem, call the CNN Voter Hotline at 877-462-6608. See what issues are a concern in each state by clicking on the interactive Hotline map at

Filed under: Georgia • Voter Problems
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Joe Green

    Nearly 1/3 of the State has already voted, which should make lines shorter on Tuesday.

    Early voting needs to be permanent and start a MONTH before election day.

    THIS WAY, no "October Surprises" and throwing the kitchen sink at your opponent at the last minute!

    November 3, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. Ridgeway

    This law only applies to Republicans as it refers to working people. Obama folks are free to vote as often as ACORN signed them up.

    November 3, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I hate the republican smear/fear slash and burn. This is NOT what our country needs. Everybody is voting against negative.

    Go America!! No more lying negative crap.

    Obama/Biden '08

    November 3, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. Cynthia - Arkansas

    If we do not allow people to vote in this country, then we have no democracy. It is a sham, not unlike any other third world country. You know they will run out of ballots, machines will break, voters will be intimidated. Where? In heavily democratic areas, that's where. Please America, don't be discouraged. Stand in line as long as it takes! The future of this country depends on it.

    Obama/ Biden 08

    November 3, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    Georgia!!!! Go vote !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 3, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. SFC Drennan

    thats just another way to keep people from the vote,,, do what you need to do to vote,,,, that employer should have his name and the place of employment put out there for all to see......

    November 3, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. Tiff of lithia springs


    That's whats going on. I had to renig on my pledge to volunteer at Obama HQ in Douglasville AND pick up a contract because people did not take advantage of early voting.


    November 3, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. TjayeInLA

    Wow! How sad that they are doing everything they can to keep people from voting. GA is a red state and clearly this a company that is hiring clock workers who can't take ample time off for this particular election...and they are taking advantage to keep them voting for the candidate they don't want to see in office.

    Its to the point that Republicans aren't even trying to hide it. This is almost as bad as they behaved during the Civil Rights Movement when they tried to keep people from voting. Watch out if they have a large jar of jelly beans to guess before you can vote.

    November 3, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. Jack from California

    My hats off for the people of Georgia that take their voting seriously, I commend them all.

    Too often the people of this great country have sat at home on election day only to grumble when people in office do things they don't like well, be like the people in Georgia and get out and vote.

    November 3, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. Lyndon,CA

    That's the way they operate in good ole' Georgia.

    November 3, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. Ben - Portland, Or

    Hey- I grew up in Georgia, and know exactly what it's like to vote there in small towns. Usually, 30 minutes is more than enough time to get there and vote, but we all need to recognize the importance of this election, employers and employees alike. We all need to acknowledge that this time 30 minutes might not do it. Your boss or manager should make some special accommodations, but if they don't, you need to take the responsibility and do what it takes to make sure your vote is cast. Ultimately, it's not your employer’s responsibility to make sure your vote counts; it's yours.

    November 3, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Tony

    Wow, clearly this is a diabolical Republican plan to sabotage the Democratic rise to supremacy.

    November 3, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. TheTruthHurts

    Stop booing, stop complaining, stop whining - VOTE. Get a reciept if you can. When it's over - Celebrate. This is not the election of Obama, this is the election of a return to citizen voice, citizen rule, citizen empowerment. Obama is no Messiah. He is a man, with all the faults and shortcomings that come with that. He has already told us that the change we need requires US - You and me. However, he will open the door for us to come in and then what we do with that is up to us. He has offered himself as a leader and we must both follow and lead ourselves. Don't miss this opportunity - VOTE.

    November 3, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Cynthia; Bham

    That's a good idea – all companies should make time available for everyone to have a chance to vote. All states should have early voting as well.

    November 3, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |

    This is ridiculous. On one minute Americans are told to vote but on the next the Supervisor's of elections are not fighting hard enough to make sure that enough polling sites, machines, or workers are there to accommodate the voters. Double standards and I expected to see this sort of thing from the states in the South.

    Slick way of doing Voter Suppression. Call into work sick and go get a note. Then if they fire you, sue them!!!

    November 3, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  16. alreadyvotedobama

    Obama and his campaign staff are extremly smart! They already know about the trickey before we even hear about it! His people are all on it! We have to have faith! McCain and his sidekick will be gone soon enough!

    November 4, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |