Deadline to register to vote Oct. 24

Published 10:58 pm Tuesday, October 14, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
History will be made with the 2008 presidential election, and Escambia County Probate Judge Emilie Mims is counting on the large number of votes placed to be part of the reason for it.
Approximately 19,000 Escambia County residents voted in the 2004 presidential election and as of the end of September this year there are 21,145.
The final day to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election is Friday, Oct. 24 by 4 p.m. Residents of Escambia County can do so at the satellite office in Atmore and the Board of Registrars office located in the Brewton Court House.
Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman said her office is receiving 200 to 400 registration applications daily.
Mims said interest in this election started early on because of the unusual circumstances of the election, primarily an African-American man running for president on a major party’s ticket as well as a woman running for vice president.
It is also an Atmore resident’s opportunity to vote for the office of District 4 County Commissioner.
Kevin McKinley and Brandon Smith are running for the office and both asserted the importance of voter turnout.
Brandon Smith, who is running on the Democratic ticket, agreed with the idea of voting as one of the most important rights given to citizens.
To ensure the expected high voter turnout does not affect polling locations, workshops are held before each election.
There will be a mandatory meeting Tuesday, Oct. 21 for poll workers throughout the county. The meeting will be held at Atmore City Hall at 1 p.m., Flomaton Community Center at 3:30 p.m. and Old East Brewton Civic Center at 6:30 p.m.
The Probate office appoints poll workers and Mims said positions are currently filled, but those interested should call the chief clerk at the probate office in case current workers are unable to execute their duties.
To register to vote in the state of Alabama you must be a US citizen 18 years of age who currently lives in Alabama and has no disqualifying felonies on your record and has not been adjudged mentally incompetent.
Those needing to vote by an absentee ballot must apply for a ballot no later than Oct. 30 and have them returned by Nov. 3. The following requirements are allowable for absentee voting: You will be out of county or state on the election day, you have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents attendance at the polls, the person is a member, spouse or dependent of a member of the armed forces or is similarly qualified to vote absentee pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff or the person has been appointed as an election office or named as a poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place.
Applications for absentee voting are available at the absentee election manager’s office and the Secretary of State’s Web site Those serving in the armed forces, including a spouse, should contact their commanding officer for an application.
Further information can be provided by James K. Taylor, absentee election manager, at (251) 867-0225.

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