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Today is last day to register to vote in election

By Michael Davis

Rebecca Garringer hasn't voted in years. The 48-year-old Morrow resident said she was always too busy or disillusioned by the process, but Saturday, all that changed.

Garringer was one of dozens who filled out voter registration applications at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Clayton County voter registration drive.

"The issues are really pressing. If we don't exercise our voting right and we don't have the right person in office, our country could be totally destroyed," Garringer said after filling out her application.

With today's deadline for registration looming, nearly 100 had visited NAACP tables in front of the Wal-Mart store in Morrow by early Saturday afternoon.

"It's a person's right to vote and we are encouraging people and letting them know they need to vote," said the NAACP's Vivian Baldwin, one of the drive's organizers. "They need to share in the democracy of decision-making," she added.

Jaime Mitchell voted in the 2000 presidential election but has since moved to Morrow from Texas.

With a shopping cart full of purchases, the 29-year-old took the time to fill out a registration application on his way out of the store.

"I knew I was going to do it today," Mitchell said Saturday. Adding that drives such as the NAACP's make registration convenient, he said, "I knew I was going to have to go somewhere."

As the clatter of a nearby marching band echoed in the parking lot, even 15-year-old Courtney Thompson got involved in the election process.

Though he's too young to vote, he and his mother Verletta Thompson, operated a registration table at the drive.

"I feel it's important because kids have to know what the process is," the younger Thompson said.

If you have voted in previous elections and haven't moved, there's no need to re-register. If you are currently unregistered, you can visit the Clayton County Registrar's Office at the historic courthouse in Jonesboro to register. Call (770) 477-3372 or visit http://www.co.clayton.ga.us .

You can download a registration form from the Web site there or from the office of the Secretary of State at http://www.sos.state.ga.us but the application must be into your registrar's office by the end of the day today.