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Voter registration wraps up today

ALBANY, Ga. -- Today is the final day to register to vote in the November general election, officials say.

As of October 1, there were 52,325 active registered voters in Dougherty County. With one day left to register, that total is down slightly from the 52,641 voters who were registered to vote during the presidential election in November 2008.

Those wishing to register to vote can do so at the elections office downtown at 222 Pine Ave.

While the big draw to the polls this November will be the presidential election as President Barack Obama seeks to fend off a challenge from Republican Nominee Mitt Romney, a few contested local races could draw out voters as well.

The biggest contested local race for Dougherty County voters will likely be one that is to be determined by the courts.

Lane Price beat incumbent Anita Williams-Brown in the Dougherty County School Board At-Large Democratic primary in July, but now faces a challenge from Rev. Lorenzo Heard.

At present, Heard is locked in a legal skirmish with the Board of Elections over whether he managed to successfully qualify as an independent candidate to appear on the ballot against Price.

While a superior court judge has yet to render a verdict on whether Heard can be on the ballot, Heard has hedged his political bets by becoming an official write-in candidate meaning that voters can write in Heard's name for the Dougherty County At-Large School Board race.

The other draw to the polls in Dougherty County is the 2nd Congressional District Race between longtime Democratic incumbent Sanford Bishop and GOP challenger John House.

Bishop is hoping to hold on to his seat while House, a retired veteran, is seeking to ride a wave of anti-government sentiment to Washington.