Voters must register in person

The opportunity for Island County citizens to help choose between Bush and Kerry is slowly slipping away.

The deadline for mailing in a voter registration form has passed, but the opportunity to drop the form off in person is still available until Monday, Oct. 18, said Michele Reagan, Island County voter registration deputy.

“It’s just been real busy,” she said.

Reagan said she has mailed out more than 2,000 voter cards in the last two weeks, which suggests high interest in this election. Besides the presidential choice, Washington voters will be picking a governor, senator, U.S. representatives, state representatives, and passing judgment on a number of ballot issues including a one-cent sales tax hike for education.

Citizens ages 18 and over can register to vote in person at the Island County Courthouse at the corner of 7th and Main in Coupeville. Camano residents can deliver theirs to the Camano Annex Building at 121 NE Camano Dr.

For the Sept. 14 primary election, 42,066 people were registered to vote in Island County. Of those, 55 percent, or 22,950 people, voted. During the primary, 3,279,205 people had registered statewide.

Jane Wormer, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s election office, said the number of new registrations has increased since the primary

“It does seem we have a heavier load than four years ago,” she said.

Island County Auditor Suzanne Sinclair said the spike in registration involves a lot of first-time voters and people renewing their registration. The number of controversial issues has piqued voters’ interests, she said.

“There’s a lot higher of a feeling about this election,” she said.

In 2000, the last presidential election, Island County had an 80-percent turnout for the general election, Sinclair said. She said she expects an even higher percentage this November.

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