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City of Port Wentworth Government
The City of Port Wentworth consists of a Mayor and six (6) Council Members that are elected for staggered terms of four (4) years. The City Council is made up of Council Members for four (4) election districts; District1, District 2, District 3 and District 4, and two (2) At-Large seats.
The next scheduled general election for the City of Port Wentworth is Tuesday, November 2, 2021.
Superintendent of Elections
The Chatham County Board of Elections functions as the superintendent of elections and conducts primaries and elections in accordance with State law. The Board performs all services and functions necessary to support the election process. The Board of Elections also establishes boundaries for voting precincts, secures facilities to serve as polling locations for these precincts, recruits, selects, hires, trains and assigns personnel to serve as poll officials. Additionally, the board conducts qualification for candidates, develops ballots for elections, acquires, maintains, prepares and delivers equipment used to conduct elections, publicizes notices as required by law and maintains elections records.
Board of Registrars
The Chatham County Board of Registrars will serve as the Absentee Ballot Clerk for the City of Port Wentworth Elections. Early/Advanced voting for the 2021 Municipal Election will be held in accordance with state law.
Absentee ballots will be available beginning 45 days prior to the Election for all eligible voters. No absentee ballots will be issued or cast on the Monday preceding the date of the election.
A person may cast an absentee ballot in person at the registrar's office at least 21 days prior to any general primary or general election without a declared reason.
For more information, contact the Chatham County Board of Registrars at 912-790-1520 or click here to learn more.
What is a candidate?
Georgia statues § 21-5-3(4) defines "Candidate" as:
Eligibility Requirements for the Office of Mayor
Candidates for the Office of Mayor must meet the following requirements to qualify:
Eligibility Requirements for the Office of Council Member
Candidates for the Office of Council Member must meet the following requirements to qualify:
What does it mean to qualify?
Qualifying is the process through which candidates indicate their desire to run for office and the municipal election superintendent confirms that they possess the requisite (necessary) legal qualifications to be eligible to do so.
How and where does a candidate qualify?
Again, the following documents must be completed and returned to the Clerk of Council DURING the qualifying period:
Form DOI must be filed regardless of whether any money will be raised or spent and should be submitted BEFORE accepting campaign contributions. Georgia Election Code, O.C.G.A. § 21-5-30(g)
Once a candidate qualifies, all Federal, State and Local laws must be adhered to.
What is the qualifying fee?
The qualifying fee for the Office of Mayor is $216.00 (two hundred sixteen dollars), which is 3% of the total gross Mayoral salary of the preceding year. The qualifying fee for Council Members is $144.00 (one hundred forty-four dollars), which is 3% of the total gross Council Member salary of the preceding year.
Acceptable forms of payment for the qualifying fee
Major credit/debit cards, personal checks (payable to the City of Port Wentworth) for electronic processing and cash are all acceptable forms of payment. The City of Port Wentworth does not accept American Express.
A Qualifying Petition/Pauper’s Affidavit may be filed affirming under oath the candidate's poverty or inability to pay the qualifying fee. Georgia Election Code 21-2-132
What are the qualifying dates/times/location?
Qualifying for the 2021 Municipal Election will be held the 4th week of August, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Office of the Clerk of Council at City Hall, 7224 GA Highway 21. The specific dates for qualifying will be posted here in July 2021.
What happens once qualifying ends?
Once qualifying closes, all candidate names and the seat they are seeking for election will be posted on the City website and published in the Savannah Morning Newspaper. Candidates who wish to have their email address listed, on the City's website, for voters to contact them directly and/or a headshot picture to accompany their contact information should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I want to withdraw my candidacy?
A candidate in a general, special, or nonpartisan primary may withdraw as a candidate after qualifying, but prior to the date of the general election, by filing a notarized affidavit of withdrawal with the Secretary of State. Georgia Election Code, O.C.G.A. § 21-2-134
Candidates who qualify and later withdraw from the election are still responsible for filing the required Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports (CCDR). Rules of the GGTCFC § 189-3.01 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports
Filing Responsibilities for Candidates & Candidates Committees
Candidates for public office who do not currently hold an elected position and plan to run, must file a Declaration of Intention to Accept Campaign Contributions (Form DOI) BEFORE accepting any campaign contributions. All candidates must file Form DOI regardless of whether any money will be raised or spent.
Candidates should also submit:
All DOI’s, Exemption Affidavits, CCDR’s, PFDS’s, and TBD’s are to be filed with the Clerk of Council for reporting to the Georgia Government Transparency Campaign Finance Commission (GGTCFC). Graduated late fees of $125, $250 and $1,000 will be imposed (only after notice) by the Commission for failure to timely file. Georgia Election Code, O.C.G.A. §§ 21-5-34(k)(1) and 21-5-50(f)(1)
Campaign Committee Registration
If you have designated someone to file your reports or if anyone is collecting or expending your contributions, you must have a campaign committee. Therefore, a Registration Form For A Candidates Campaign Committee (Form RC) MUST BE FILED BY THE CANDIDATE DIRECTLY WITH THE GGTCFC.
The term “campaign committee” as it relates to the candidate means the candidate, person(s) or committee which accepts contributions or makes expenditures for the purpose of bringing about the nomination or election of an individual to any elected office. If a candidate has a campaign committee, the name and address of the committee, its chairperson, treasurer and the candidate must be registered with the Commission prior to accepting any contributions.
Campaign Committee Rules
When a candidate is elected to office, the candidate’s campaign committee registration will remain in effect as long as the candidate remains in office until and unless the registration is canceled by the campaign committee or the candidate. Any substantive changes to registration information of a committee must be updated with the Commission within seven (7) business days. Georgia Election Code, O.C.G.A. §§ 21-5-3(2) and 21-5-30(b)
Campaign Contributions Record Keeping
Pursuant to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act of 2016, all candidates and/or campaign committees must maintain detailed records of all contributions received and expenditures made. Records must be maintained by the candidate or treasurer of a campaign committee and may be inspected by the Commission at any time. The right of inspection may be enforced by the Commission or by the Superior Court of the State of Georgia. Records of the accounts kept by a candidate or candidate’s committee are required to be preserved for three years from the termination date of the candidate’s campaign. However, since public disclosures are maintained for not less than five years, candidates are encouraged to keep records for at least five years.
Citizens may sign up to vote at any time, but must be registered by the established registration deadline prior to an election if desiring to vote on election day. If you are not already signed up to vote, please register today!
To register to vote in the state of Georgia, you must be:
Also, you may not register to vote if you are currently:
Motor Voter registration is offered when you renew or apply for your driver's license. Registrations conducted via driver's license department and/or mail are not guaranteed. You have an individual responsibility to confirm your registration prior to election day, and may do so by calling 912-790-1520 or 1-888-265-1115 or by visiting My Voter Page.
Where to Vote?
Only residents of incorporated City of Port Wentworth are eligible to vote for Mayor and Council. The City of Port Wentworth has three (3) polling locations:
P.B. Edwards Jr. Gymnasium
103 Turnberry Street
Port Wentworth, Georgia 31407
Lakeshore Community Center
100 Lakeshore Blvd
Rice Creek School
100 Mulberry Street
You will need your first initial, last name, county of residence and date of birth to access this information.
Elected officials take office on the first day of January immediately following their election for a four (4) year term. Mayor and Council shall serve until their successors are qualified and elected. Once elected, the Mayor and all members of Council must continue to reside in the City of Port Wentworth during their periods of service and remain registered voters. Additionally, they may not hold any other City office or employment during any portion of the term for which they are elected. Port Wentworth Code of Ordinances Article II Section 4A – Terms of Office of Mayor and Council Members.
Compensation for City of Port Wentworth elected officials is as follows: Mayor receives $7,200 per year and City Council Members receive $4,800.00 per year. Port Wentworth Code of Ordinances Article II Section 12 - Salaries.
*Elected officials are expected to attend scheduled or called meetings, Council Workshops, Committee Meetings, Annual Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) Training, as well as participate in various other conferences, seminars, budget review sessions, community involvement programs, leadership opportunities; and encouraged to attend City functions and events.
Resources & Links
Candidates should familiarize themselves with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act. Interested candidates should also be aware of City operations, including but not limited to review of the City of Port Wentworth Charter, City Codes/Ordinances, the Constitution of the State of Georgia, and guidelines set forth by the Georgia Government Transparency Campaign Finance Commission (GGTCFC).
Chatham County Board of Elections
Chatham County Board of Registrars
Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP)
Georgia General Assembly
Georgia Secretary of State Elections Division
Georgia Secretary of State Poll Locator Website
Georgia Secretary of State Website
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
7224 GA Highway 21
Port Wentworth, Georgia 31407
8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Monday through Friday
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