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Five days to decide

Election is Tuesday; voter registration up 5% in Middlesex

With the country facing a myriad of problems, many are calling Tuesday’s Presidential election the most important one in decades.

Election officials across the country are bracing for what could be a record turnout.

The campaigns of Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama are working around the clock, trying to lock in those still remaining “undecided” voters who might determine the winner.

What seems like the longest Presidential race in recent memory will come to a conclusion late Tuesday night—barring any complications, such as the “hanging chads” of 2000.

Registration is up
Assistant Middlesex County Voter Registrar Jacqueline Kent said there is usually a surge in voter registration in a Presidential election year.

While this year was no exception, actually more people— 405 or 6%—registered to vote during the same period in 2004, noted Kent.

As of January 24, 2008, Middlesex had 7,457 registered voters. After the October 6 registration deadline, Middlesex had a total of 7,819 registered voters—an increase of 362 (just under 5 percent) said Kent.

Across Virginia, there are 436,000 new registered voters since January, according to the State Board of Elections.

Even though the ages of new registrants are kept confidential by the State Board of Elections, it is no secret young people make up a high percentage of these new voters.

Absentee Ballots
This Saturday, November 1, is the last day to cast absentee ballots at the Middlesex Registrar’s Office, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Through Monday of next week, a voting machine will be available at the registrar’s office so voters can familiarize themselves with the electronic machine and the ballot, said county registrar Eileen Howard. These machines were first used in Middlesex in 2005.

Voters are reminded to bring identification when they vote.

They also are reminded not to exhibit political items within 40 feet of the poll entrance door or inside the polls.

The Middlesex precincts and their polling places are as follows: Saluda Precinct, meeting room at the Cooks Corner Office Complex; Urbanna Precinct, Urbanna Firehouse; Harmony Village Precinct, Pilot House Restaurant; Wilton Precinct, YMCA at Hartfield; New Market Precinct, Deltaville Rescue Squad building; Water View Precinct, Water View Firehouse; Church View Precinct, Hermitage Baptist Church. The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Call 758-4420 for more information.

The Candidates
On Tuesday, November 4, voters in the First Congressional District, which includes Middlesex County, will elect representatives to the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, in addition to voting for a Presidential ticket.

The 2008 Presidential tickets on the Virginia ballot are:
• Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
• Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin.
• Constitution Party candidates Chuck Baldwin and Darrell Castle.
• Libertarian candidates Bob Barr and Wayne Root.
• Green Party candidates Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente.
• Independent candidates Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez.

Candidates for the two-year House term in the First District are Democrat Bill Day Jr., Republican Rob Wittman, and Libertarian Nathan Larson.

Candidates for U.S. Senate, a six-year term, are Democrat Mark Warner, Republican Jim Gilmore, Independent Gail Parker, and Libertarian Bill Redpath.

posted 10.29.2008

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