Options Dwindle As Voter Registration Deadline Looms - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Options Dwindle As Voter Registration Deadline Looms

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By Adam Ghassemi

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One wouldn't normally see people at the Metro Election Commission over the weekend, but this Saturday was different.

"If you don't voice your opinion, nothing will ever get changed," said Brian Upchurch who was registering to vote in Davidson County.

Monday's deadline falls on Columbus Day - a federal holiday, which is why they're trying to get as many people processed now as possible.

"The elections are that important to us," said Aras Barzanji who brought his mother in to take advantage of what so many let pass by. "I think some people do take it for granted, and I think they shouldn't because we do need to cherish our freedom, and we need to keep it alive by voting," he said.

There wasn't a huge crowd Saturday, but a steady flow of people registering. Davidson County Administrator of Elections Albert Tieche said last-minute turn out seemed lighter than registration for the 2008 General Election, although official numbers weren't available.

At St. James Missionary Baptist Church, people attended a Community Health Fair, but one of the first things greeting them at the door was voter registration cards.

"Some people don't know what to do, where to go. So we don't care who they vote for as long as they vote," said Associate Minister James Holloway.

The church is signing people up and focusing on felons and students away at college who vote absentee. Both groups have to take extra steps to vote at all.

"Every vote counts. Everyone counts down to the last one," said organizer Janet King.

The Tennessee Department of Safety opened Drivers Service Centers across the state, including Nashville's Centennial Boulevard location. The new Voter ID law means all registered voters must present identification to cast a ballot.

In Davidson County, the cut-off is Monday at 4:30 p.m. Anyone not in line at the Election Commission by then, will not register in time for the November 6th General Election.

There is still a chance to register by mail, but to be successful it must be postmarked on Sunday. That can be done at the Royal Parkway Post Office near the Nashville International Airport.

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