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Number of registered Owen County voters drops

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By Molly Haines

As the deadline a registering to vote looms just days away, the number of registered voters in Owen County is at its lowest in two years.

In March 2008, 7,639 Owen County residents were registered to vote and 7,716 were registered in 2009. As of March 16, 2010, only 7,436 Owen County residents were registered to vote.

Owen County Clerk Joan Kincaid said reasons for the decline in number of registered voters vary.

“People move outside of the county or state and register at their new location,” Kincaid said. “Those who pass away are taken off the list and those who are charged with a felony are also taken off.”

Kincaid said those who have not voted in a recent election may find themselves on the inactive list.

“Those who haven’t voted for five years are put on an inactive list for two federal-general elections and then they’re purged from that list by the state board of elections if they do not vote in one of those election,” Kincaid said.

If a registered voter on the inactive list votes in one of the two federal-general elections, they are then taken off the inactive list. Those who are purged must reregister to vote.

The deadline to register is 4 p.m. Monday.

Kincaid said those who will be unable to vote at their precinct on May 18 may request a paper absentee ballot from the county clerk’s office.

The last day to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot is May 11.

Registered voters who will be outside the county on election day may vote now on the absentee machine during normal business hours at the county clerk’s office.

The county clerk’s office hours are: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday.

Kincaid said Kentucky Ridge Country Communications will run a continuous report of election results on local cable channel 20.

“This is the first time we’ve ever been able to run the results on a local channel,” Kincaid said. “We’re really excited about that.”

Kincaid said there will also be a television outside the county clerk’s office that will display a continuous report of the results on election day.

“I would encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote,” Kincaid said.