Deadline swiftly approaching to register for municipal elections
by Rachel Miller
September 30, 2013 12:12 AM | 2289 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The deadline to register to vote is a week away, with applications due on Oct. 7, before city elections in Austell, Kennesaw and Marietta are held on Nov. 5.

Acworth and Powder Springs called off their elections this year since there were no challengers to incumbents.

For large national elections with a presidential race, people often register at the last minute, said Janine Eveler, director of the Cobb Board of Elections.

For local elections, voters are typically not registering for the first time, but mostly updating their addresses after a move within the city.

Cobb County has around 390,000 active registered voters who cast a ballot regularly, said Eveler.

“You get marked as inactive if you don’t vote in two general elections in a row,” Eveler said, or if a voter precinct card is returned due to an address change.

Eveler said her office makes multiple attempts to update the inactive information, and it can take eight years before a voter is taken totally off the list.

In Marietta’s last city election in 2009, some precincts had 40 percent of active registered voters casting ballots, but others were much lower, Eveler said. The disparity is because some City Council races might peak a larger interest.

Knowing your district

In December, the Marietta City Council approved the redistricting of the city’s seven wards based on 2010 census data, giving each ward about 8,000 people.

The new ward map changed precinct boundaries and polling places, so voters should check Georgia’s “My Voter Page” at http://mvp.sos.state.ga.us/ for updated information.

After entering their name, county and birth date, residents can see what district they live in, where the nearest polling place is, and access a form to register to vote.

Cobb residents will have three weeks to vote early in person before Election Day at the main elections office in Marietta.

Additional satellite locations will open for a week at the Ben Robertson Community Center in Kennesaw and Austell’s city hall.

In 2008, the rules were expanded to allow anyone for any reason to vote early. Before, a voter had to prove they would be out of town, Eveler said.

In 2009, Eveler said a little over 1,000 people participated in absentee and early voting in Marietta.

Eveler said early voting is more popular in national elections, but not as much in city elections because voters are less concerned about waiting in long lines at the polling place.

Planning to vote

Even with a $68 million redevelopment bond referendum on this year’s ballot in Marietta, it is “hard to say if there will be a large turnout,” Eveler said. “Each election is completely different.”

Voting by mail through an absentee ballot is also open to anyone for any reason, with the option to mail or personally deliver the ballot to the Cobb elections board.

But the first step is to submit an application for an absentee ballot, which must be done no later than Nov. 1 to allow time for a ballot to be mailed back.

On Nov. 5, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and voters must have an identification card with a photo.

This can be a card issued by the state, such as a Georgia driver’s license, or a United States passport or a United States military identification card.

Advance voting in person:

* Where: Cobb County Board of Elections main office at 736 Whitlock Ave. in Marietta

* When: Oct. 14 – Nov. 1, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Where: Ben Robertson Community Center 2753 Watts Drive in Kennesaw or City Hall at 2716 Broad St. in Austell

* When: Oct. 28 – Nov. 1, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For information on your district and nearest polling place, visit Georgia’s “My Voter Page” at http://mvp.sos.state.ga.us/


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