Oct. 9 is the deadline to register for anyone planning to vote in the Nov. 6 election. Absentee ballots are already in the mail and early in-person voting begins Oct. 15.
A total of 226,560 voters were
registered in Floyd, Bartow, Chattooga, Polk, Gordon, Walker, Catoosa and Dade counties as of Sept. 1, according to Georgia secretary of state records. That’s 10,209 fewer than the 236,769 who registered for the 2008 election.
Georgia has 5,205,488 people on its rolls, compared to 5,198,971 registered, eligible voters four years ago.
Anyone who voted in the July 31 primary is good to go, but Floyd County Elections Supervisor Evon Billups said would-be voters who didn’t cast a ballot in the 2008 or 2010 elections should check their status.
“And if you are registered but you’ve changed your address, you have to update that in order to get the correct ballot,” she said. A name-change also must be registered, since a picture ID is required to vote.
Floyd County’s shift
Floyd County’s 73 percent turnout in 2008 was the highest of its neighboring sister-counties, although it didn’t reach the state’s 76 percent average.
The county’s 46,885 registered voters shrank to 45,911 by this year, although the numbers are up for black and Hispanic men and women. All together, the number of registered white voters decreased to 37,419 from 39,110 while the number of minority voters rose to 8,492 from 7,775.
In 2008, black women actually went to the polls at the highest rate — 76 percent — with white women and white men tieing at 75 percent, according to a secretary of state report. Floyd County’s black men had a turnout rate of 67 percent. Only about half the registered voters of other races showed up to cast ballots.
In other nearby counties:
Bartow has 49,674 registered voters, down from 50,882. Turnout was 71 percent in 2008.
Chattooga has 11,727 registered voters, down from 12,376. Turnout was 68 percent in 2008.
Polk has 18,941 registered voters, down from 20,030. Turnout was 71 percent in 2008.
Gordon has 24,675 registered voters, down from 25,197. Turnout was 70 percent in 2008.
Walker has 32,447 registered voters, down from 35,971. Turnout was 66 percent in 2008.
Catoosa has 34,321 registered voters, down from 35,607. Turnout was 69 percent in 2008.
Dade has 8,864 registered voters, down from 9,821. Turnout was 66 percent in 2008.
Registration forms widely available
For voter registration information call the elections office — Floyd County’s phone number is 706-291-5168 — or visit the My Voter website run by the Georgia secretary of state. Residents may register in person at Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles driver’s license posts or other government agencies such as public libraries, public assistance offices, military recruitment offices or schools.