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Voter registration deadline looms

Redistricting has prompted some precinct realignment and renumbering, election officials say.

Johnny White fills out a voter registration application at the Dougherty County Elections Office Tuesday. The deadline to register to vote in the July 31 primary is July 2, officials say.

Johnny White fills out a voter registration application at the Dougherty County Elections Office Tuesday. The deadline to register to vote in the July 31 primary is July 2, officials say.

ALBANY, Ga. — Those who want to cast a ballot in the July 31 general primaries have about a month left to register to vote, election officials say.

With several contested races at the local, state and federal levels, elections officials say it is important to check your registration status and know your precinct before election day.

“If a person has any address changes, or changes in information, or if they just want to get registered for the first time ... we need to have that application in this office postmarked no later than the second of July,” Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said.

Early voting for the primary will begin July 9, Nickerson said, and includes a day of voting on Saturday, July 21, for those who can’t make it to vote early during the week.

Beginning July 23, the elections office will open a second location downtown to serve voters. Nickerson said that the Candy Room, located adjacent to the Flint RiverQuarium, will be available to early voters for the week prior to election day.

As is customary, all voting will cease on July 30 before precincts open countywide at 7 a.m. on July 31.

Thanks to redistricting, some voters may see a change in their state house districts and their county commission districts, Nickerson said.

“Residents should be receiving cards in the mail from Atlanta — they haven’t been mailed yet, but they should be mailed shortly — with their house district numbers and commission district numbers,” Nickerson said.

The county is also renumbering its voting precincts as part of the redistricting process. Elections officials are urging members of the public not to be alarmed if they see that their voting precinct has a number that may be different than in previous years.

Dougherty County originally had 31 precincts, but in 2004, Precinct 7 was merged with Precinct 18, and elections officials removed the number 7 from the precinct list, she said.

That same year, Precinct 16 was merged with Precinct 15, and the number 16 was stripped from the precinct list.

In 2005, Precinct 13 was merged with Precinct 11, and elections officials stopped using the number 13.

“What we did this particular redistricting process is we went back in and renumbered the districts 1 through 28 so after the number six, the precinct numbers changed,” Nickerson said.

Additionally, the precinct formerly known as Precinct 15, which had previously been at Carver Gym, has been moved to Shiloh Baptist Church.

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