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Countdown to Election Day:  Days

Sheriffs have massive power over arrests, jail conditions and immigration enforcement in your community. You have the power to vote in progressive sheriffs and vote out those that don’t reflect your values.

October 15

Last day to register to vote

October 12-30

Early voting

October 30

Request ballot by mail

County Lookup

See how your county spends its money and who is running for sheriff in your community.

* Information for 71 counties available.

Sheriff’s Budget:

 of county budget


No data for this county

Why look at the budget?

Money is power. Every county dollar spent on law enforcement could instead be going to programs that help the health and wellbeing of your community, like mental health services, libraries, and parks. Use this information to call out your candidates and see where they stand.

What if there’s just one candidate?

Hold them accountable. Even in uncontested elections, learning what sheriffs do and how much they spend will let you demand better for the future. Let them know you are aware and care about real change.

About Sheriffs

Powers of the Sheriff / Now


Just like police, sheriffs and their officers (called deputies) make decisions about where, how, and whom to stop and arrest. They decide how to treat people in our neighborhoods, including Black and Brown youth, houseless people, and people with mental health needs.

School Policing

Sheriffs’ deputies can work as school police through local contracts, creating a threatening environment for students and feeding the school-to-prison pipeline.

Civil Law Enforcement

Sheriffs’ offices conduct evictions and have discretion on when and if they evict people. They seize people’s stuff after arrest and can keep the value from it, in what’s known as civil asset forfeiture.


Local sheriffs decide whether and how to hand over people and data to ICE. The main types of agreements that sheriffs enter with ICE are 287g, which deputize local officers to act as ICE agents, or Warrant Service Officer (WSO), which authorizes sheriff’s deputies to perform duties of federal immigration officers within the county jail.


Sheriffs are responsible for the local jail conditions and budget. They are usually the central leader in building new jails.Sheriffs decide whether people have access to everything from absentee ballots to food and medicine behind bars, and can force people to work. Most people are jailed pre-trial, when they are presumed innocent, just because they can’t afford bail.

Then / History

The Sheriffs took hold in America’s colonies in the 1600s after originating in England. They issued warrants, operated jails and collected taxes. In the 1700s, police throughout the colonies were known as slave patrols. their job was to kidnap runaway slaves and stave off slave revolts by intimidation and terror.

After the Civil War in 1865, many local sheriffs enforced segregation and the disenfranchisement of Black people. In the convict leasing system, Southern sheriffs criminalized newly freed people and profited off of their labor by leasing them to corporations.

State Stats


County Jails


People Locked Up


Jailed Pre-Trial Presumed Innocent


Cooperation Agreements with ICE


Georgians Deported Through Traffic Stops

What Sheriffs Could Do

2020 and the Future

Sheriffs can make dramatic changes to stop criminalizing our communities, including:

  • Reduce arrests and violence by deputies
  • Reduce arrests and violence by deputies
  • Close jails and stop the construction of new jails
  • Cut cooperation with ICE
  • Stop policing schools
  • Cut the sheriff’s office budget and reinvest in community resources

Be Sure to Watch our Town Hall on Georgia Sheriff Elections.

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