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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; District 1, District 2, District 3, and District 4, and two (2) At-Large seats.
Municipal elections for Mayor and Council are non partisan (held without primaries) and by plurality of the votes cast. Elections are conducted in accordance with Chapter 2 of Title 21 of the O.C.G.A. the "Georgia Election Code", all other applicable provisions of general state law and Article II and Article V of the City of Port Wentworth Charter.
The next general election for the City of Port Wentworth will be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 to elect the Office of Mayor, Council Members for Districts 1 and 3, and Council Member At-Large. Visit the Georgia Secretary of State My Voter Page to verify your voter registration status and to confirm your polling location.
Interested in running for office?
Please read the information below if you are considering qualifying for the next election cycle.
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 Pauper’s Petition and Affidavit may be filed affirming under oath the candidate's poverty or inability to pay the qualifying fee.
Georgia Election Code, O.C.G.A. § 21-2-132
What are the qualifying dates/times/location?
Qualifying for the 2021 Municipal Election will be held August 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., in the Office of the Clerk of Council located at Port Wentworth City Hall, 7224 GA Highway 21, Port Wentworth, Georgia 31407.
What happens once qualifying ends?
Once qualifying closes, a headshot picture of each candidate that qualified for office along with the candidate names, the seat they are seeking for election, and their contact information to include phone numbers, email addresses and any social media sites will be posted on the City website.
This information will also be made available via the Savannah Morning Newspaper for easy access for voters to communicate with the candidates directly.
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 or by completing the City of Port Wentworth Affidavit for Withdrawal of Candidacy, that will later be sent to the Georgia Secretary of State office on the candidates behalf. 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 Georgia Government Transparency Campaign Finance Commission (GGTCFC) 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 (3) years from the termination date of the candidate’s campaign. However, since public disclosures are maintained for not less than five (5) years, candidates are encouraged to keep records for at least five (5) years.
Campaigning Before Qualifying Opens
Per the Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission (GGTCFC), candidates who wish to begin accepting donations toward their intent to run for office during the November 2, 2021, General Election must complete and file Form DOI (Declaration of Intent to Accept Campaign Contributions) with the City of Port Wentworth Local Filing Officer, Clerk of Council.
Once Form DOI has been submitted, candidates may begin to post signage regarding their intent to run for office as long as all postings are in compliance with the City of Port Wentworth Sign Ordinance and O.C.G.A. 32-6-51.
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, "neither the Mayor nor any Council Member shall hold any other elected or appointed office in the City or otherwise be employed by the City during the term for which that official was elected or appointed," as spelled out in Article II Section 2.35(8) – Ethical Responsibilities and Prohibitions of the City of Port Wentworth Charter.
"The Mayor and Council Members shall receive compensation for their service in such amounts as may be approved by City Council by ordinance", per Article II Section 2.33(a) – Compensation and Expenses of the City of Port Wentworth Charter.
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.
*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.
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.
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.
Board of Registrars /Early-Advanced Voting
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 Voting in Georgia
Request for mail out absentee ballots may be submitted as early as one hundred and eighty (180) days prior to the Election. Requests may be submitted either by mail (P.O. Box 13757, Savannah GA 31416), fax (912-790-1519), scanned attachment sent via e-mail to email@example.com, or you may complete the application in person at the Chatham County Voters Registration Office at 1117 Eisenhower Drive, Suite E, Savannah, Georgia 31406.
You must file a separate application for each election and run-off election for which you are requesting an absentee ballot; except if you are a voter who is over the age of 65 or disabled, a military service member, spouse of a military service member, or an oversees citizen (temporary or permanent). Please submit your application early. Call Chatham County Voter Registration at 912-790-1520 for further details.
To find out if the Voter Registration Office has received your application for an absentee ballot, when your ballot was mailed, or if your voted ballot has been returned, view the Georgia Secretary of State Website.
For more information, contact the Chatham County Board of Registrars at 912-790-1520 or click here to learn more.
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, Port Wentworth Code of 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 Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission
Georgia Secretary of State Elections Division
Georgia Secretary of State Poll Locator Website
Georgia Secretary of State Website
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
Chatham County Board of Elections
My Voter Page
Absentee Voting Guide for Registered Voters
Note: The information and materials available on this website were prepared as a public service of the State of Georgia to provide general information, not to advise on any specific legal problem, and intended to be as accurate as possible. It is not and cannot be construed to be legal advice. If you have questions regarding any matter contained on this page, please contact the Georgia Secretary of State Elections Division by calling toll free 844-753-7825.
7224 GA Highway 21
Port Wentworth, Georgia 31407
8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Monday through Friday
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