Time running short to register to vote in upcoming primary

Staff reportsApril 17, 2014 

The May primary election is about a month away, but if you want to vote then, you must be registered by April 21.

Voters across Georgia will have local, state and federal contests to choose from on May 20. That’s the earliest primary in Georgia history and about two months earlier than the customary mid-July date.

In Bibb County, 82,824 people were registered to vote as of April 10, according to Veronica Seals at the Macon-Bibb elections office. All told, 11,104 voters are on an inactive list, and another 4,292 people were purged from the inactive rolls in February.

In 2012, before the presidential election, Bibb County had 83,520 registered voters. Those numbers are generally higher when spurred by an upcoming vote for president, Seals said

In recent weeks, “there’s been some interest but not a lot of traffic,” Seals said of registration in the office. People are “used to voting in the summertime,” not in May, she said.

In Houston County, 74,335 people are registered to vote, said Debra Presswood in the elections office. There are 14,652 people on the inactive rolls who are still eligible to vote for now but who may be purged in the future if they don’t vote.

Gone are the days of having to head to the local elections office to register, however. Last month, Secretary of State Brian Kemp unveiled new online applications and mobile apps that make the process easier.

Georgians with a valid Georgia driver’s license can go online at www.tinyurl.com/ptvtc9l to register.

The “My Voter Page” app also allows Georgians to register to vote. Voters can view their specific sample ballot, find their polling location, check voter registration status and track the status of their absentee ballot. All of the information is available on mobile devices on Apple and Android platforms. (To find the app, search for “GA Votes” in the app store.)

To date, several thousand Georgians have used the new tools to register or update their residency information.

Anyone wanting to register needs a valid Georgia driver’s license or state-issued identification card. To register, a person must be a U.S. citizen and a legal resident of Georgia and the county where he or she wants to vote. Residents can register at age 17½ but must be 18 years old on or before election day to vote in that election.

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