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Voter rolls higher here than in most counties
Registration closes for July 31 primary
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Forsyth County News

Nearly 62 percent of Forsyth County’s population has registered to vote in the upcoming election.

Registration closed Monday, with more than 112,000 residents eligible to cast a ballot in the July 31 election.

According to 2011 U.S. Census figures, there are about 182,000 people living in Forsyth.

In June alone, 330 residents registered, 442 transferred, 267 changed addresses and 36 changed their names, according to Elections Supervisor Barbara Luth’s report.

“It’s a higher number here than in most counties,” Luth said of the percentage of registered voters. “We are a lot higher in those that get out and vote than a lot of other counties.

“[Forsyth voters] do care, and they do get out and vote and they do register to vote.”

While early voting doesn’t begin until Monday, 135 people have cast a ballot through absentee voting. In total, 449 ballots were sent out to overseas and absentee voters, Luth said.

During Monday’s board of elections meeting, 51 people were removed from the voting rolls, including 44 deceased voters and seven people with invalid addresses.

Three of those with invalid addresses lived on nonexistent streets, the other four were commercial properties.

Luth said letters were sent to all seven people, but “they didn’t contact us to say they lived in those buildings.”

Monday’s meeting also served as a hearing for the 44 deceased voters removed from the list.

Surviving family members had been notified by mail that their loved one would be removed from the database. If there was an error, the person listed as deceased could have attended the meeting to alert the elections board.

However, if a change under consideration by the U.S. Department of Justice is approved, the local board would be able to use obituaries, deaths reported through the clerk of court and those listed by the secretary of state’s office as official documentation.

If the measure passes, a hearing would only have to be held for deaths that couldn’t be verified through one of those means.

After the meeting, Luth addressed the possibility that a living person could be mistakenly removed as deceased or for having an improper address.

In that unlikely event, she said, the person still would be allowed to fill out a provisional ballot, which could be counted if it was proven he or she had been falsely removed.

Board member Donald Glover mentioned information about deceased voters being registered in California.

“It caused a few people to raise eyebrows here, until they found out we do it right in this county,” he said. “We do it by the law.”