Skip to main content

Secretary of State - Elections Division - Special Elections and Local Referendums Returns

Identifier: 002-02-025-02

Scope and Contents

This series consists of:

(1) special elections to fill vacancies at times other than the end of an office-holder's term

(2) referendums to answer questions concerning taxes, annexations, school board changes, etc.

(3) bond elections (school, hospital, courthouse, library, etc.)

(4) some regularly scheduled elections.

The elections records usually include the consolidated returns, voting district returns, numbered lists of voters and miscellaneous correspondence. Sample ballots including the wording of the referendum are sometimes included. Most of the correspondence consists of letters of transmittal and acknowledgements. Very rarely there are letters soliciting the Secretary of State's opinion as to a point of law concerning the elections. Occasionally, elections are cancelled. If an election is cancelled (example: only one candidate applied for the position), a letter/notice of cancellation will be included in the folder, instead of an election summary, certification, and/or returns.

Returns of special elections and referendums held on the date of the general election are usually filed with records of the general election. This also applies to special elections held on the date of the primary elections for 1970 and thereafter.

The 2018 files in this series contain additional documentation concerning the legal notice of the election (either the typed version of the notice or the actual newspaper notice), court case documents or Georgia legislation concerning this particular election, and the official paperwork to call the election (local government paperwork). Before 2018, these types of documents were filed in the Elections Reference and Documentation File (record group 002.02.060).

The Call of the election consists of the local officials informing the public and the county elections department of the need for a special election and/or referendum.

The legal notice of the election, normally published in the county's legal organ (local newspaper), informs the public of the election date and times, the position(s) elected, example: Mayor, City Council, etc. or the Referendum (example: Alcohol Sunday Sales) and other miscellaneous items related to the election.

Occassionally; Elections are called due to changes in laws through either court cases and/or Georgia legislation (example: legalization of Sunday Alcohol Sales). Copies of these documents may be included in the files with the election being affected by the court case and/or legislation.


  • Created: 1860-2016


Conditions Governing Access



614 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Records are generally arranged chronologically by date of election and thereunder alphabetically by county in which election was held.

Existence and Location of Originals

The earlier portion of these records have been microfilmed and are available in the Georgia Archives Microfilm Librrary

Secretary of State - Elections Division - Special Elections and Local Referendums Returns
Georgia Archives
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Georgia Archives Repository

5800 Jonesboro Rd
Morrow GA 30260 United States