published Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Voter registration deadline is today for Georgia elections


by Andy Johns

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Cities with contested elections
  • Dalton
  • Fort Oglethorpe
  • Ringgold
  • Trenton
  • Chickamauga
  • LaFayette
  • Lookout Mountain
  • Rossville
  • Menlo
  • Summerville
  • Trion
  • Chatsworth
  • Eton
  • Cohutta

Northwest Georgians have until the end of today to register to vote in next month's municipal elections.

"We've had a lot of them pick up their registration," said Rossville City Clerk Sherry Foster.

Normally, voters-to-be pick up the registration forms and either mail them to the secretary of state's office or bring them back to city hall. But because the deadline is today, area clerks advised residents to turn in the papers at city hall.

Only voters who have moved since the last election or people who have never registered need to fill out the forms, officials said.

"If they moved across town, they'll be in a different precinct," said Shirley Hamrick, election technician in Whitfield County.

Summerville Clerk Jill Durham said there's usually very little confusion about registration.

"As a general rule, we don't have very many people at all who show up to vote and aren't registered," she said. "For the most part, our folks are on top of things."

Turnout usually is fairly low in local elections, but Hamrick said turnout is likely to increase because of the Sunday alcohol sales issue. Whether alcohol should be sold in stores on Sunday is on the ballot in Whitfield County, Dalton, Fort Oglethorpe, Lookout Mountain, Eton, Tunnel Hill, Varnell and Cohutta.

"I think the alcohol will bring out more people because it usually does," she said.

Durham said she and other officials encouraged residents to cast ballots, but there's only so much they can do.

"People are just busy with their own lives," said Durham, who expects about a 25 percent turnout. "After all is said and done, it's an individual choice for participation."

Contact staff writer Andy Johns at ajohns@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6324.

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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