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Voter registration deadline for November election approaching

September 15, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Tim Battan said he likes John McCain because "he'll get us through Iraq and Afghanistan."

Julie Simms said she was on the fence until she saw Sarah Palin speak, and now she'll support Obama.

Michael Kelly said he didn't vote in the 2004 general election but that "things are too bad now not to vote."

He isn't sure who he'll support this year, but he registered to vote last month.

People who want to cast a vote for president this year but haven't yet registered are running out of time to do so.

The deadline to register for the Nov. 4 general election is Oct. 14 at 9 p.m., according to the Washington County Elections Board.

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This year's general election will decide the winners of the U.S. presidential race, the 6th District Congressional race and the Washington County Board of Education contest.

In this year's presidential race, Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, while John McCain is the Republican's nominee.

Cynthia McKinney, of the Green party; Bob Barr, Libertarian; Ralph Nader, Independent; and Chuck Baldwin, Constitution, also are on the ballot.

The 6th District Congressional race includes the incumbent, Republican Roscoe G. Bartlett, Democrat and former Frederick Mayor Jennifer P. Dougherty and Libertarian Gary W. Hoover Jr.

The ballot also includes "yes" and "no" votes to allow Deborah Eyler and Robert A. Zarnoch to continue as Court of Special Appeals judges.

Voters also will decide two ballot questions - one on early voting, polling places and absentee ballots; and another on slot machines in Maryland.

As of Sept. 12, voter registration in Washington County had risen 4 percent since February's primary election, from 79,643 to 82,915.

There are currently 36,123 registered Republicans, 30,287 registered Democrats and 12,524 unaffiliated voters in Washington County, according to voter registration records.

Other affiliations, such as Green and Libertarian party voters, account for less than 1,500 voters in Washington County.

Voter registration applications are available from most government agencies, including Motor Vehicle Administration offices, post offices, libraries, universities and colleges, offices on aging and marriage license bureaus.

Applications also can be printed from the Maryland Board of Elections Web site at www.elections.state.md.us.

To ensure registration for the Nov. 4 general election, applications must be hand-delivered to the Washington County Elections Board by 9 p.m. Oct. 14 or postmarked by that date, Elections Director Dorothy Kaetzel said.

The deadline to apply for absentee ballots is Oct. 28. They can be downloaded from the state elections board Web site or picked up at the Washington County Elections Board at 35 W. Washington St., room 101, in Hagerstown. For more information, call the office at 240-313-2050.

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