Voter registration deadline approaching

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By Marty Finley


  Breakout Box

Number of registered voters in Hardin County: 62,878 Democrats Republicans Other 34,368 23,025 5,485 *As of Sept. 15 according to statistics provided by the Hardin County Clerk’s Office    



HARDIN COUNTY — The 2008 General Election is quickly approaching, meaning the time frame to register to vote is dwindling.


The deadline for registering is Monday, giving holdouts less than a week to make their move.


Hardin County Clerk Kenny Tabb said the date gives the state approximately a month to receive the registered voters from each county and compile rosters for each precinct.


Tabb said it’s a hassle-free process as prospective voters simply need to come to the clerk’s office and fill out a form with their name, address, social security number and party affiliation. Tabb said the form also has a few questions for the person to answer, including confirmation of U.S. citizenship.


For those who are registered but have to be out of the county on election day, Tabb said they can cast their ballot through absentee voting at the clerk’s office from Friday until Nov. 3. The voter has to fill out and sign an affidavit indicating why they are unable to vote on election day and where they will be.


In addition, the office will be open on the two Saturdays prior to the Nov. 4 election at its normal hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to give absentee voters additional opportunities.


“This enables those people who are out of town all week to vote on one of the Saturdays,” Tabb said, adding that those days are especially helpful for college students.


The clerk’s office has been sending paper absentee ballots out for weeks and will continue to send them until a week before the election. Tabb estimated the office will send out 800 to 1,000 absentee ballots.


He said the office has received a steady stream of people registering this election season and expects the trend to continue until the deadline date.


A number of new registered voters this season are those who recently moved to the Hardin County area, Tabb said, and want to make sure to eliminate any confusion in the election process.


He said those who do not find their name on a precinct roster force a delay in the process as the precinct must refer back to the clerk’s office to make sure the person in question is a registered voter, as well as determine that he or she is at the right polling place. Tabb said eliminating that time delay makes the process smoother.


And the implied importance of this election is not lost on Hardin County, he said, as people always respond strongest during a presidential election.


“More people will vote in a presidential election than any other election,” he said, adding that 63 percent of the county voted in the 2004 presidential election. And with the economy faltering, he doesn’t foresee any drop-off in this election.


“I expect (the county) to exceed that this year,” he said.


Marty Finley can be

reached at (270) 505-1762.