Registration deadline Thursday to vote in first primary election

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Thursday is the deadline for citizens for register to vote inorder to be able to participate in the Aug. 5 party primaries, saidLincoln County Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins.

The voter registration deadline is normally 30 days before aprimary or election. However, this year, that would place thedeadline on a Saturday when the clerk’s office is closed, and theFriday before is the July 4 holiday.

Therefore, after contacting the Secretary of State’s office,Watkins said the registration deadline will be Thursday at 5p.m.

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To be able to register to vote, a person must be at least 18years old and have lived in the county for 30 days prior toregistration. Watkins encouraged everyone who is not already aregistered voter, or those who have moved and not re-registered attheir new address, to come in and do so.

“If you haven’t registered, you need to get in here and do so inorder to be eligible for vote in the Aug. 5 primary,” Watkinssaid.

Some citizens this year will be voting in new voter precinctsand new locations due to last year’s redistricting of countysupervisor beat lines.

Following federal pre-clearance of the new lines, Watkins saidshe received new district maps about two weeks ago. Since then, shehas comparing new maps with old maps and making changes wherenecessary.

Watkins said she has done close to 1,000 administrativere-registrations.

“We’re not through,” Watkins said. “It no easy task.”

Watkins said affected voters are being notified by mail of theirnew voting status.

“We’re sending (new voter registration) cards along with aletter explaining the situation,” Watkins said. “We’re trying tomake it as easy as we can for everybody.”

Ballots for this year’s primaries are in the process of beingfinalized. Watkins said interest in the form of absentee votingrequests has been minimal.

“We have not had anybody request to vote absentee yet,” Watkinssaid.

Absentee voting can begin when ballots are ready.

Watkins said her office will be open Saturday, July 19, andSaturday, July 26, from 8 a.m. until noon for absentee voting.Absentee ballots can also be requested by mail and those will haveto be returned by mail.

In addition to state offices, 20 county and area districtoffices will be decided this year. Seventy-three candidates havesigned up to run in the local and area contests.

A special election will also be held in November to fill theunexpired term of Lincoln County School Board member Jerry Coon,who died in April. The qualifying period for school boardcandidates will be Aug. 6 through Sept. 5.

The first party primaries are scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 5.Party primary runoffs, where necessary, will be held Tuesday, Aug.26.

The first party primaries are scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 5.Party primary runoffs, where necessary, will be held Tuesday, Aug.26.

Party primary winners will go on to face each other in thegeneral election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.