Election Day is just around the corner. But you didn’t seriously think that, after a record breaking two year campaign with both historical and financial firsts, that you would just stroll in and cast your vote, did you? Susan Beaver Thompson at the Herald sat down Shenandoah County registrar Lisa MacDonald to discuss the massive workload the office is seeing and what changes should be expected for long-time voters:
There are 25,849 residents registered to vote as of October 20. McDonald says that there have been 1,222 new voters registered in Shenandoah County since January 1. This, she says, is actually a little less than the number of new registrations in 2004 on the same date. (In 2004, there had been 1,496 new voters registered thus far.)
Requests for absentee ballots, however, are up this election cycle. “We are running a little higher than in 2004,” McDonald notes. So far, in 2008, there have been 881 absentee voting requests.
Shenandoah County uses optical scanning machines with paper ballots, and one tabulator at each precinct. Each precinct also has one Touchscreen voting machine which is handicapped accessible. It is capable of an audio vote for the blind, and the screen can be magnified for those with poor eyesight. Anyone may request to use the Touchscreen machine. Voters can write-in candidates on all machines.
Some Shenandoah County poll locations have changed:
• all Woodstock voters will now vote at Central High;
• voters who live in Starsburg will now vote at Strasburg High; and
• voters who live outside of the Strasburg town limits will now vote at Signal Knob.
In all seriousness though, Lisa should be applauded for her dedication and hard work in ensuring a fair and orderly process. She has been beyond courteous in my dealings with her and has always gone the extra mile to get the information I needed (even when it was right in front of my nose). It’s people like her that are able to lift themselves above the heated rhetoric and debate of the campaign season to ensure that both sides receive a fair hearing that make our democracy possible.
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