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Registration is a precursor to voting process

By Staff | Oct 7, 2008

In less than a month’s time, the future of our nation, state and county will be decided at the polls. Now is the time to get in gear and make some personal decisions on having your say.

Emmet County Auditor Bev Juhl said the pre-registration deadline is Saturday, Oct. 25.

“Our office will be open that Saturday from 8-5 p.m. as a convenience for residents who need to fill out voter registration or to vote with an absentee ballot.”

The office will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1 also for absentee voting purposes. “Residents can register on this date as well but it will take more paperwork since it’s passed the deadline.”

She explained that a potential voter will need to bring a picture ID that is current and valid at that time. She further explained that if someone is new to Emmet County from another county or state, the current and valid photo ID or driver’s license will not show the current address in Emmet County. “The person will need to have proof of residence with a current utility bill, rent receipt or lease receipt.”

Juhl added, “If an individual is pre-registered, they will be in a shorter line at the polls on Election Day. If they opt to register on Election Day, it will take a longer amount of time. They also will need to show the picture ID that is current valid and have proof of the correct address.”

During the last presidential election four years ago, 1,181 absentee ballots were requested in Emmet County. Of that amount, 1,118 were returned to the auditor’s office.

“These absentee ballots were either mailed back to us or individuals came to our office and voted here.”

As of Sept. 29, 2008, 240 absentee ballots have been secured.

“The last day for absentee ballots to be mailed out by request is Friday, Oct. 31. Returning absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 3 to be counted. Voters can also return the ballots to the auditor’s office in person no later than Tuesday, Nov. 4.

“Person also can complete the voting process using absentee ballots in the auditor’s office on Saturday, Nov. 1 and Monday, Nov 3,” she said.

“I anticipate an overwhelming turnout of voters for this election,” Juhl said, adding, “As of Aug. 25, Emmet County had 6,186 voters. That number is bound to change a lot between now and Election Day.”

Because of the anticipated voter turnout, Juhl is planning on having five workers at each polling place to expedite the procedure.