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Monday last day to register to vote
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Forsyth County News

Think you're a registered voter? If the last time you voted was 2002, think again.

Fortunately, there still is one more day to sign up in time for the Nov. 4 presidential election.

Anyone who still needs to register must submit an application by 4:30 p.m. Monday. Registrations sent by mail must be postmarked by Monday.

It's no secret that first-time voters and new Forsyth residents must register before they can vote.

But not many people know if they haven't voted in the past two general elections, their registration status becomes inactive and is automatically purged from the system.

"Many people think if you've registered, you're registered forever, but that's just not the case," said Gary J. Smith, the county's elections chief. "You have to continue to be an active voter in Georgia to be kept on the rolls."

Not all states follow the same procedures. Georgia's policy is designed to purge the deceased and those who have left the state from voter rolls.

Though it keeps registration information current, many residents also face being dropped due to inactivity.

That's why, Smith said, "It's extremely important that they realize if they haven't voted in four years they could possibly not be on registration rolls."

As a precaution, Smith advised anyone uncertain of their registration status to visit the office's Web site or to call to verify they can vote.

The county's voter registration office has worked to increase the number of registered voters, conducting elections in local schools and holding a registration event last weekend.

"We had 120 people register. That's a decent number," Smith said. "There were a number of people who took forms back for other family members, so I think we impacted about 200 people total."

Nearly 100 residents stopped by the office Friday to register, said Smith, adding that signing up in person is the most effective way.

But for those that choose to mail their applications, he said: "My recommendation is to not put it in the mail if you have rural delivery, because you want to get it postmarked."