Becky Erickson of Cumming said she’s never missed an election.
“I was raised in a home where my father did a lot of volunteer work at the polls as a kid, so that’s important to us,” Erickson said.
Debbie Phillips of Cleveland said she too makes it a point to vote in as many elections as she can.
“It affects who we have in office and that affects everything that goes on in the country, and I want some type of influence, hopefully, in what goes on,” Phillips said.
Today is the last day to register to be eligible to vote in the General Primary on July 31.
Erickson runs a fireworks stand with her family in Gainesville. While she and her nieces are selling sparklers to people celebrating their freedom, she encourages them to take an interest in the election process.
She admits that she doesn’t always have time to follow every candidate and each race but likes to spend a few days before the election catching up on who they are and what they stand for.
Other voters tend to focus only on the presidential election rather than the local elections.
Constance Phillips, 27, of Cleveland has voted in the last two presidential elections but hasn’t cast her ballot on a local level. She said that she would like to start paying more attention to local politics.
“I guess I just don’t know enough about the candidates to feel like I should make a decision about them,” Phillips said.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women are slightly more likely to vote than men. In 2010, 46 percent of women voted while 45 percent of men voted.
Lester Posten of Gainesville said he has never registered to vote.
“My opinion don’t mean much anyway,” Posten said.
Posten said his main reason for not voting is just not having a candidate he could get behind. He said that if the right candidate did run for office, he would most certainly register and vote.
Even though he’s never voted, Posten said he likes to follow the presidential race and all of the local races. He said he’s particularly interested in those running for sheriff.
Faith is often something candidates showcase, but for Tony Young of Gainesville it’s his faith that keeps him away from the polls.
“I love politics. I just don’t ever get into them because I don’t see mankind changing nothing,” Young said.
He cited a verse in the Bible that says peace will only come through God, not through a politician.
“True enough the government and the politics are put here for a reason, to maintain order and control, and for that reason I have thought about going and voting. But I just really don’t see a point,” Young said.
He said that he enjoys learning about all of the different people running for office and what they promise to do, but his personal beliefs won’t let him cast his vote.
“But I guess if a lot of people saw my point of view, we’d be in trouble,” Young said, laughing.