How Georgia Citizens Can Participate in Government

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

If you want to be more involved in Georgia's government, there are a number of avenues available to you. In this lesson we will review many of them, including voting, donating to campaigns, and even running for office.

Participating with the Government

There are many options available for Georgians interested in making an impact on their state government. Ranging from voting and contacting representatives to becoming an elected official yourself, as a citizen of the state of Georgia you have a number of ways to make your voice heard. In this lesson, we're going to look at the different ways that people in the state of Georgia have the ability to not only participant in government but become part of the government themselves.

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  • 00:00 Participating with the…
  • 0:32 Voting
  • 1:18 Contacting Representatives
  • 2:01 Donations
  • 2:54 Running for Office
  • 3:50 Lesson Summary
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For many people, voting for state officials in Georgia is the most that they will do to participate in government. Still, it is vital for people to vote, since without votes we have no real way of knowing what the people want. Being able to govern in the name of the people is the central aspect of democracy, so if you want your voice to be heard, the most important thing that you can do really is to vote.

In order to vote in the state of Georgia, you must be 18 years old. You also have to be a legal resident in whatever county in which you claim residency. Often, this means registering to vote with proof of address at least a month before the election. Also, you cannot have been convicted of a crime that takes away your right to vote, nor can you have been declared mentally unable to vote.

Contacting Representatives

So let's say you voted for a candidate, and she was elected but isn't keeping a promise that was near and dear to your heart. What should you do now? The next step is to directly contact your representative. Like the governor and other members of the executive branch, every state legislator, whether a representative or a senator, has a number of methods by which to contact them. In fact, they hire people to help them manage all that correspondence. Now when you call, don't be afraid or disheartened if you don't get transferred to the elected official. More often than not, you'll have to talk to a staffer. However, those staffers do relay the substance of the phone call back to the politician, so be sure to tell them everything that you want the elected official to hear!

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