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Pike County voters rush to register

Time is running out to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election.

This Friday, Oct. 24 will be the final day residents can register to vote or update their voting information to be eligible to cast their vote in the 2008 presidential race.

Pike County Registrar Billy Walters said all residents need to register is the last four digits of their social security number or a driver’s license number. No other documentation is needed.

If voter registration numbers are any indication of the election turnout, then it will be high.

Registrar Mattie Henry estimated between 50 and 75 residents have been registered every day in the last few weeks leading up to deadline.

“I registered 25 this morning in a matter of an hour’s time,” Henry said.

Locally, registrars have had to work over time to keep up with the pace.

“We’ve been working weekends, and we also worked last Monday on the holiday,” Walters said.

Walters worked the 2004 presidential election, too, but he said it doesn’t compare to the influx of registering voters this year.

“The number of people we have coming in is a lot greater,” Walters said.

“We were busy then but not this busy.”

Voters don’t choose a party when they register, so Walters said he isn’t sure which way this county, which traditionally votes Republican, will cast their ballots.

The Associated Press reported Barack Obama may swing more votes for the Democrat party in Alabama than other Democrats have in the past.

In the last year, the number of black registered voters has grown by 14.3 percent compared to white voters at 6.5 percent.

The chairman of the black wing of the Alabama Democratic Conference told the AP Obama is the leading cause of an influx of black registered voters.