Just fewer than 50,000 Madison Countians are registered to vote Tuesday. The trick now is getting them to the polls, said Madison County Clerk Billy Gabbard.

“I would encourage everyone to please get out and vote,” Gabbard said. “The sad part is that usually it is 10 to 15 percent — the highest is 20 percent — that turn out.”

Voter registration figures have hit record numbers across the state, with 2,840,898 Kentuckians registered to cast their ballot Tuesday. The previous state record was set earlier this year in the primary election with 2,709,959 voters registered, showing an increase of 45,885 for the general election.

In Madison County, Gabbard said the registration numbers are about average, but there was an influx of registrants from Aug. 17 to Oct. 17. Within that two-month period, Democrat voters increased by 422 for a total of 27,133. Republican figures were increased by 293 for a total of 18,578 and independent and “other” parties were increased by 134 for a total of 4,077.

“In any election we have an influx of registrants right before the election because both parties get out and do registration drives, so we have several new registrations,” Gabbard said.

Statewide, the greatest voter gains parallel those in Madison County with 25,495 more voters registered since the May primary election. Republicans increased their numbers by 15,001 and “other” parties were increased by 5,389. Secretary of State Trey Grayson said his focus also now has shifted toward bringing voters to the polls.

“Now that the registration books are closed, we must work diligently to see that every registered Kentuckian votes in the Nov. 6, 2007, general election,” he said.

Anyone who registered to vote but may not be in town on election day can visit the county clerk’s office to vote by absentee ballot, Gabbard said.

“Just come by the courthouse,” Gabbard said. “You have to fill out a form and tell us where you are going to be, and then you can vote on the machine set up at the courthouse. It will be there all the way up until the day before the election.”

The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but is open until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday’s for those who may need to come in the early evening, Gabbard said.

Kelly Foreman can be reached at kforeman@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

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