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Registration for primary elections ends Monday

By Jaya Franklin

jfranklin@henryherald.com

The deadline for registering for the presidential primary elections will end Monday.

Henry County Elections Board and Registration Director Janet Shellnutt said her office was busy all last week.

"We've had a good amount of people for voting and registration and the phones have been ringing off the hook," she said.

Shellnutt said absentee voting has already started, but early voting for the presidential primaries will begin Jan. 28 and end Feb. 1.

"It's been picking up," she said. "We've been progressing all week. A lot of mothers have been calling in for their children in college."

Shellnutt said Henry County has 105,000 registered voters. "If 60 percent of those voters turned out, that would be great," said Shellnutt, who noted that during a presidential election the percentage of voters who actually vote usually increases.

The last day for Clayton County residents to register to vote in the Feb. 5, 2008 presidential primary election, and on the Special Local Option Sales tax question, is also Monday. In the SPLOST vote, Clayton officials are asking residents to approve a new 6-year, one-cent sales tax to raise an estimated $305 million to fund the construction of a new juvenile justice center, build new police precincts and pay for other improvements.

All voters registering for the first time in either county, or who have moved or had a name change, will need to complete a new voter registration application to be eligible to vote in these elections.

The qualifications to register to vote in the state of Georgia include: being a United States citizen; a legal resident of the county in which registration is sought; and at least 17 and a half years old at registration. However, you have to be 18 years old to vote.

Aslo, voters should not be serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude and should not have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge.

Those registering by mail should provide a copy of one of the required forms of identification listed on the voter registration application.

"[Henry residents] can call the board of elections and registration office to request a ballot and they are available on the [county] web site," said Shellnutt.

Voters are required to provide one of six forms of photo identification for in-person voting: a Georgia driver's license; any valid state or federal government-issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID card issued by the county registrar's office of the Department of Driver Services; a valid United States passport; a valid employee photo identification card issued by any entity of government within the United States; a valid U.S. military identification card containing a photo of the elector; or a valid tribal photo identification card containing a photograph of the elector.

The photo ID rules only apply to in-person voting by absentee ballot, advance voting, or voting at the polling place on election day.

Clayton residents can register at the Clayton County Elections and Registration Office, located at 121 South McDonough Street in Jonesboro.

Henry residents can register at the Henry County Elections Office, located at 66 Veteran's Drive in McDonough.