2021 Atlanta Election

What's on the Ballot?

Registered voters in Atlanta will be voting for:

  • Mayor
  • Council President
  • 15 City Council members
  • 9 Board of Education members
  • Retention of 10 Municipal Court judges

Should no candidate in any race reach at least 50% + 1 votes on election day, a run-off election will be held on November 30, 2021 between the top two candidates who received the most votes.

For more information on mayoral candidates, visit our Mayoral Candidate Profiles page.

Information from the Atlanta City Council website

Dates to Know

  • Election day is November 2, 2021
  • To vote in the election, you must be registered to vote by October 4, 2021
  • Early voting begins October 12, 2021 and ends October 29, 2021
  • Last day to request an absentee ballot is October 22, 2021
  • Run-off election, if necessary, will be held on November 30, 2021

What Do These Offices Do?

Although local government isn't always covered in the media to the same extent that state or federal government is, in many ways, city government affects important day-to-day decisions and processes. The 2021 Atlanta election will have a few offices on the ballot, and learning the responsibilities and duties of each office is useful for understanding their importance. Below is each office briefly explained.


Candidates will be running to replace current mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms as mayor of Atlanta. General responsibilities of this office include:

  • Serving as chief administrator and official representative for the City of Atlanta

  • Responsible for the general management of the city and ensuring that all laws are enforced

  • Appointing department heads and people serving on advisory boards, with City Council approval

  • Advising City Council on financial condition and preparing an annual budget for approval

Information from the City of Atlanta website

Current Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms

Current mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms // Photo courtesy of the AJC

City Council

City Council is made up of 16 total members and is led by the Council President. In general, City Council acts as the policy-making body of the city where their main role is to make laws. Responsibilities of City Council include:

  • Overseeing many agencies, boards, and commissions

  • Introducing a bill, which can either on the floor by a Council member or through a committee

  • Reviewing the annual budget proposed by the mayor

Additionally, legislation can take two forms:

  • Ordinances, which are meant to be a permanent rule of government or

  • Resolutions which only express intent for various projects or establish a general legislative policy

Information from the Atlanta City Council website

Atlanta City Council in session

Atlanta City Council // Photo courtesy of the AJC

Board of Education

The Atlanta Board of Education is charge of the Atlanta Public School system. The Board consists of nine members representing 6 districts and three at-large districts. The responsibilities of the Board of Education include:

  • Creating and approving the policies that run Atlanta public schools

  • Appointing the superintendent, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school system

Information from the Atlanta BOE website

Atlanta Public Schools office\

Atlanta Public Schools office // Photo courtesy of the AJC

Municipal Court

The Atlanta Municipal Court has jurisdiction over the City of Atlanta which includes parts of Fulton County and DeKalb County[source]. The Court consists of 10 judges. Some of the responsibilities the Court has are:

  • Being in charge of ordinance violations, issuing criminal warrants, holding preliminary hearings, and hearing misdemeanor cases of shoplifting and marijuana possession[source]

  • Handling cases such as DUI, parking disputes, traffic violations, panhandling, drug offenses, and disorderly conduct[source]

Atlanta Municipal Courthouse

Atlanta Municipal Courthouse // Photo courtesy of the AJC

Who Are the Candidates?

To learn more information about the 2021 mayoral candidates, please visit the link below. 

How Do I Register to Vote?

To vote in the 2021 Atlanta Municipal Election, you must be registered to vote within the City of Atlanta by October 4, 2021. If you are a Georgia resident and you are looking to register to vote in Georgia, please visit our Georgia Voter Registration guide.

If you are an out-of-state student living in Georgia and looking to change your registration from your home state to Georgia, please see our OOS Georgia Voter Registration Guide.

How Do I Vote Absentee?

Absentee ballots for the 2021 Atlanta Municipal Election must be requested between August 14, 2021 and October 22, 2021. For more information regarding absentee voting, please visit our absentee voting page.

How Do I Vote Early?

If you are registered to vote in Fulton County, early voting begins on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 and runs every weekday through Friday, October 29, 2021. Additionally, there will be two Saturday voting days on October 16, 2021 and October 23, 2021 and two Sunday voting days on October 17, 2021 and October 24, 2021. Polls will be open for early voting from 9AM to 6PM. For more information on early voting in Fulton County, visit Fulton County's website.

If you are registered to vote in DeKalb County, early voting begins on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 and runs Monday-Friday until Friday, October 29, 2021. Polls are open these days from 7AM to 7PM. There will also be two Saturday voting days on October 16, 2021 and October 23, 2021 with polls open from 9AM to 6PM. For more information on early voting in DeKalb County, visit DeKalb County's website.

For more information early voting in general, visit our Early Voting page.

Information from Fulton County website and DeKalb County website.