10/11/04 — Unregistered voters swamp election office

View Archive

Unregistered voters swamp election office

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on October 11, 2004 1:59 PM

More than 1,000 Wayne County residents registered to vote or updated their registrations Friday, the last day to do so before the Nov. 2 election.

The last-minute rush forced the Board of Elections to set up tables outside to serve people who couldn't fit in the building.

Then right before 5 p.m., "we had people literally running for the door," Elections Director Gary Sims said. "It was unbelieveable. I have never seen anything like it.

"It's going to be 100 miles per hour around here for the next three weeks."

Over the weekend, the elections staff was processing nearly 1,500 registration forms, double-checking and verifying information before entering them in the system. Around 200 forms remained to be done this morning.

Some voter registration drives were held last week, including one at Wayne Community College last Wednesday that netted 180. But Friday's turnout was still easily more than 1,000, Sims said.

Sims' staff plans to mail voter registration cards this week to all new registrants and to people who updated their information. Earlier this year, cards were mailed to people in four precincts -- 2, 11, 9 and 29 -- because of changes in their polling places.

Previously registered voters who have not received cards can assume that they will go to the same polling places as they did in 2000 or 2002.

But if they want to check, they can go to www.waynegov.com/boe. People should be able to find the name and maps of their polling places, look up their election districts, and find other registration information.

People can also call 731-1411 with questions or stop by the elections office at 209 S. William St.

One-stop voting begins Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Wayne County Public Library, 1001 E. Ash St., and at 11 a.m. at Belfast Fire Station, 3212 U.S. 117 North, and Dudley Fire Station, 4533 U.S. 117 Alternative South.

Throughout one-stop voting, the library will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., while the two fire stations will be open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. All three locations will also be open Saturday, Oct. 30, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. That will be the last day of one-stop voting.

Registered voters can go to any of the locations.