Deadline today for getting absentee ballot Voter growth rate is high in county

October 27, 1992|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Staff Writer

Today is the deadline for people who want to vote by absentee ballot in Nov. 3 election.

Those seeking absentee ballots must sign affidavits saying they are unable to vote in person. People who receive absentee ballots must vote by that method even if their plans change and they are present on Election Day.

Voters have until 4 p.m. on Election Day to hand-deliver absentee ballots to the board. Mailed ballots must be posted before Election Day. Those mailed in the United States will be counted if they are received by 4 p.m. Nov. 4, the day after the election. Ballots mailed from outside the United States will be counted if they are received by 4 p.m. Nov. 13.

Nearly 114,000 county residents have registered to vote.

The total number of eligible voters might grow slightly, said Barbara Feaga, Howard County election board administrator, because of an anomaly that caught the board by surprise.

Until Oct. 5, people could register for this election at any board in the United States. A few residents did register elsewhere, and it has taken this long for their cards to reach the board, Ms. Feaga said. She said she does not expect the registrations still to come to make much of a change in the final number.

The registration deadline for this election was Oct. 5. As of that deadline, the county had 113,764 registered voters -- 56,106 Democrats, 41,285 Republicans, 15,293 independents, 74 Libertarians, 3 members of the Alliance Party and 1,003 others.

Since mid-August, registrations have grown 13.3 percent, triple the

growth rate of the last 3 1/2 years. In mid-August, there were 100,364 registered voters -- 50,202 Democrats, 36,870 Republicans, 12,397 independents, 32 Libertarians and 863 others.

There were 95,839 voters registered for the 1988 presidential election -- 49,751 Democrats, 34,032 Republicans, and 12,056 independents and others. Nearly 83 percent of the voters turned out. George Bush defeated Democrat Michael S. Dukakis countywide by 10,146 votes, 44,153 to 34,007.

In 1988, late Republican registrations outpaced late Democratic registrations.

This time, the two gained at about the same rate, Republicans gaining 11.9 percent since mid-August and Democrats gaining 11.7 percent. In overall numbers, Democrats gained 5,904 voters and Republicans gained 4,415.

The biggest percentage growth was among independents and others. In that category, the increase was 23 percent with the addition of 3,081 voters.

The county government will provide election night coverage from the election board live over Cable 15, the county government channel.

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