The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Local voter rolls longer
BY ROBYN SIDERSKY
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Voter registration is up 11 percent across the Fredericksburg region compared with the 2008 election.
The city had the most growth, 24 percent, over the past four years, with 16,489 registered voters. In 2008, there were 13,316 registered voters in the city.
Registrar Juanita Pitchford said she thinks it has been busier this year than it was in 2008.
The city has grown in population over the past four years, but that’s not the only reason for the higher number of registrations, Pitchford said. “I think people are more interested in the people who are running, as opposed to 2008.”
In fact, regionally, the population has grown about 4 percent over the past four years. That accounts for some of the voter registration growth, but certainly not all of it.
Louisa County has had the second highest increase in registered voters, with 19 percent. There are 21,995 voters registered, compared with 18,391 in 2008.
While the city and Louisa have the highest percentage of new registered voters, Stafford and Spotsylvania added the most new voters by far.
Stafford has 83,503 registered voters—almost 10,000 more than four years ago.
Registrar Gregory Riddlemoser said he had a steady flow of people right up to the last day to register. He said between the in-person registrations, the ones coming from the Department of Motor Vehicles, forms mailed in and from other counties, he had more than 1,000 voters register on Oct. 15.
Spotsylvania had about 8,000 more voters register over the last four years, resulting in about 11 percent more than 2008.
The Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg registrars all had an agreement that they would accept registration forms from each of the localities and send them to the correct one.
“We always get a lot from the neighboring registrars,” Riddlemoser said.
Caroline, King George, Culpeper and Orange all had less than 10 percent more registered voters than they had in 2008.
That doesn’t mean they weren’t busy.
Caroline Registrar Danette Moen said her staff worked late into the night before the deadline.
Westmoreland had the least growth, about 5 percent and about 600 more voters.
Now that the registration deadline has passed, registrars are focusing on absentee ballots.
In 2008, about 7 percent of the region voted through absentee ballots, and this year’s election will likely surpass that.
There’s still more than a full week left for voters to get absentee ballots in, by mail or in person.
Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413