Voter registration deadline Friday

Published 2:38 am Monday, May 22, 2006

By By Mary Allison-Lancaster
Haven't registered to vote yet? You still have time before the June primaries.
Local and state candidates will be on the ballot June 6 in Republican and Democratic primaries for statewide offices such as governor and lieutenant governor and county offices such as sheriff.
In fact, in Escambia County the sheriff's race – between Democratic incumbent Grover W. Smith and Democratic challenger Timothy A. Hawsey, a former sheriff – is the only contested race.
Ray Madden had planned to run as a Republican for county commission district 1, but he dropped out of the race. All incumbent county commissioners are running unopposed.
According to the Escambia County Circuit Clerk's office, 19,617 residents in Escambia County have registered to vote in the June 6 primaries.
The number is "about normal" for Escambia County, said Mike Watson of the board of registrars.
What if you won't be in town to vote on June 6?
The deadline to apply for absentee ballots is 4 p.m. June 1 at the circuit clerk's office located on the second floor of the Escambia County Courthouse. The absentee process starts 45 days prior to the election, said Ken Taylor, the county's absentee elections manager.
The forms can be completed in person or mailed to the circuit clerk at the Escambia County Courthouse, Room 215, 314 Belleville Ave., P.O. Box 856, Brewton, AL 36427.
Voters need to designate which party ballot they want to vote for in the primaries, Taylor said.
Those who wish to abstain from designating what party they choose to vote for will only be able to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages in Alabama.
Under the proposed statewide amendment, no marriage license shall be issued in Alabama to parties of the same sex, and the state will not recognize same sex marriages that occurred as a result of the law of any other jurisdiction.
The board of registrars' function is to register voters and verify they are on the polling list.
The list includes active registered voters, eliminating about 2,000 registered voters who have been placed on the inactive list for not voting within four years.
Residents who cannot find their name on the list have until May 26 to register to vote in the primaries, and should contact the board of registrars' office at 867-0243.
Watson said first-time voters can pick up a form at most state offices, including the Department of Human Resources and Public Health Department, among others.
Registered voters should check voter cards to determine where their poll site is located. Those who have lost their cards and are not sure where to vote should call the board of registrars office. Residents must present a form of identification at the pools.
Polls in Alabama are open from 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. on June 6.

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