Midnight Madness

By: Candace White
By: Candace White

The voter registration deadline for the general election will be here Tuesday, and once again the local elections supervisor's office is doing something unique to boost the voter roles.

They're extending hours to a handle the mad rush.

In August Elections Supervisor Mark Andersen held the first ever midnight madness. He kept his office open until the midnight deadline to allow folks to register to vote in the September primary.

It was such a success, Andersen is doing it again Tuesday night.

"In the primaries we had over 200 people come in on just the last day of voter registration. We were open until midnight and we had people coming in up until 11:58 we had a voter come in."

But that's not the only order of business for Andersen and his staff. Poll workers are training on the newer touch-screen voting machines to make sure voters have a good experience when they cast their ballots on November 7.

To be eligible to vote in that November election you must be registered 29 days before the date of the election.

"You don't really need to bring anything with you when you register. All you need to know is the last four digits of your Social Security number or your driver's license number."

"If you have an address to update or anything you can do that on that day, and I encourage again, don't wait until election day to update your voter registration."

Other Florida counties like Collier have seen positive results with the midnight madness and Andersen expects to see a lot of people registering, but he says he'd be happy helping just one potential voter.

"Even if we only have one, it doesn't matter. That's one voter that's ready to go and cast their ballot in this general election."

You can register at a number of locations including the election center on Mosley Drive in Lynn Haven, the driver's license office and all public libraries.

For more information, you can check out www.bayvotes.org or call 784-6100. The touch-screen voting equipment will be publicly tested Friday morning, well in advance of the general election, which will be November 7.

8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
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