Voter registration deadline for Florida Republican primary is one week away

New voters must register by Jan. 3 for primary

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - If you're planning to cast your ballot in the Florida Republican presidential primary, you've got one week left to register to vote. Floridians have until next Tuesday, January 3, 2012 to register or change their party affiliation ahead of the January 31 election. Only registered Republicans may vote in the Florida Republican presidential primary. With the primary just weeks away, it is a busy time for local election offices.

91-year-old Georgetta Brickner of Lake Worth took great pains to get to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections office on Tuesday.

"I wanted to vote," she said.

Georgetta was registered in Pennsylvania. By registering in Palm Beach County, she'll be able to cast her ballot in next month's Florida's Republican presidential primary.

"I'm not an excitable person, but deeply interested that things go the way they should go for the good of the country," she said.

Election officials are seeing more interest ahead of next week's voter registration deadline, including people like Henry Dean, who is making sure his new address in North Palm Beach is on record.

"I wanted to be sure that I had my voter place to go perfectly so that when time comes for me to vote, I'm there, I do it and I'm happy," he said.

At election office service centers around the state, including Palm Beach County's facility in Riviera Beach, election officials are printing and sending out absentee ballots to Florida Republicans. More than 360,000 Florida voters have already requested them. Palm Beach County expected to mail out about 4,800, but that's still about half the number they mailed for the last presidential primary. There's a reason for that.

"Of course, this presidential primary is a Republican primary only," explained Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher. "There's nothing else on the ballot. There's no Democratic challenger."

In Palm Beach County, registered Democrats outnumber Republican voters by more than 130,000. Still, election officials think as Republican candidates spend more time in the sunshine state, they'll see more requests for absentee ballots and a strong voter turnout in  next month's primary.

For more information on registering to vote and absentee ballots, go to www.pbcelections.org or http://elections.myflorida.com.

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