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Steady stream of early voters
Numbers could increase after Fridays presidential debate
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Early voting got started this week, and Hall County interim elections director Charlotte Sosebee-Hunter said the number of people coming in has been "very steady."

Sosebee-Hunter said there were 375 voters Monday and about 200 as of Tuesday afternoon.

"There’s a lot of interest," she said.

The number of voters was pretty consistent with her expectations, though she thought there might have been an increase Tuesday.

"I was expecting it to pick up a little more today, and every day, but it’s pretty much the same speed as it was on yesterday," Sosebee-Hunter said.

A number of factors could contribute to the level number of voters, she said.

"It’s early," Sosebee-Hunter said. "And there’s probably some who haven’t decided who they’re going to vote for."

Plus she said, voting may pick up after presidential debates begin Friday, and early voting will go through Oct. 31, leaving plenty of time to beat the election day crowds.

Matt Carrothers, a spokesman for Secretary of State Karen Handel’s office, said he has seen early voting rise in popularity over the years.

In February’s presidential preference primary election, 12 percent of votes were cast early. In the same election in 2004, only 6 percent chose to vote early, he said.

"Early voting is growing in popularity in all Georgia elections," Carrothers said.

Carrothers said Handel and other local officials have strongly backed early voting because it provides a number of benefits.

"Our target is 25 percent of votes cast are early votes," Carrothers said. "It obviously increases ballot access for all Georgians, it provides another convenient voting opportunity and finally will ease pressures on Georgia’s voting precincts on election days," Carrothers said.

While many have already voted, Sosebee-Hunter said a large number of people are still getting registered.

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 6.

"We’re getting in as many applications for voter registration as we are absentee ballots," Sosebee-Hunter said. "We will have a lot of new voters this election."

You can register to vote in person at the elections office, when renewing a drivers license or when visiting most other locations offering public assistance, Sosebee-Hunter said.

Voter registration applications can also be downloaded at the secretary of state’s Web site, www.sos.ga.gov.

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