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A look at Gainesville voting populations, candidate fees
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If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.


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Please give us readers the number of voter age population in each ward of Gainesville, the number of registered voters and the data on voter participation.

According to the 2010 national census, there were 62,240 people over the age of 18 living in Gainesville. However, these numbers include people who may be ineligible to vote, like convicted felons or noncitizens. A breakdown by ward was not available.

The number of active voters in Gainesville is 11,688 as of July 1, 2013, according to the Hall County Elections Office. Voters are deemed inactive if they have not voted or have not had any contact with the elections office over a period of three years.

The inactive voter list is largely used for statistical purposes and does not prevent a person from voting in future elections.

In the 2011 municipal election, 14.09 percent of Gainesville’s 11,023 active voters at that time cast ballots, according to the elections office. The ballot included City Council and Board of Education races along with a referendum on package sales.

Numbers from the Secretary of State provide a breakdown by ward for active voters as of June 1, 2011.

-Ward 1, covering northwest Gainesville: 3,269

-Ward 2, northeast Gainesville: 2,040

-Ward 3, southeast Gainesville: 1,093

-Ward 4, southwest Gainesville: 2,195

-Ward 5, downtown Gainesville: 3,045

At that time, the total number of active voters was 11,642. For a map of the wards, visit

Where did having to pay to run for office come from and how many Latinos are registered to vote in the city?

According to state law, any general primary, nonpartisan election or general election requires a qualifying fee of 3 percent of the total gross salary paid to that office in the preceding calender year. Some offices require a fee of 3 percent of the minimum salary for that office and General Assembly members pay a fee of $400.

In the case of the elected mayor that will be chosen for the first time this year in Gainesville, there was no salary set, so state law dictates that the fee not be set any higher than $35, according to City Clerk Denise Jordan.

For council members in Gainesville, the fee is $621.

Qualifying fees are split between the candidate’s political party, if applicable, and the government specifically to help pay for the election.

The law has existed in some form since 1962.

As of July, there are 881 Hispanic voters registered out of a total of 11,688 active voters in the city of Gainesville, or 7.5 percent, according to the Hall County Elections Office. A breakdown provided by the Secretary of State’s Office shows numbers by ward as of June 1, 2011.

Ward 1: 67, or 2 percent

Ward 2: 68, or 3.3 percent

Ward 3: 158, or 14.5 percent

Ward 4: 425, or 19.4 percent

Ward 5: 214, or 7 percent

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