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Big Turnout for Voter Expo on Last Day to Register

Andrea Petersen has been living in the U.S. Virgin Islands since 2004, but Saturday she became a registered voter in the territory.

Petersen said she was excited to vote in this election because of the issues and candidates involved. She was one of scores of people who came down to the Elections Office at Sunny Isles for Voter Expo Saturday, the last day residents can register to vote in the November general election.

It’s hard to say exactly how busy they were, because they were that busy. Shortly after noon one elections clerk guessed they might have processed a hundred new registrations, but he really couldn’t be sure.

Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. was at the door of the office, taking questions and dealing with questions or problems with registration. There were a lot of them.

One person he didn’t answer questions from was the reporter who asked for 30 seconds.

"I don’t have 30 seconds," he said, his hands indicating the crowd of people lined up to talk to him.

"How has the turnout been," he was asked.

"Excellent turnout. Too much turnout," he said. "Why does everyone wait until the last minute?"

The big draw was voter registration, but there was plenty of other activities as well. Agencies and community organizations had tables set up to recruit members and advertise services.

At the AARP of the Virgin Islands table, Noemi Garcia-Taha was passing out literature about the group and membership forms, and taking names and contact information of people who expressed interested in classes, workshops and other events the orgnization puts on.

"It’s been pretty good," she said. "We’ve had a lot of interest all day."

Other tables were in place for the Lieutenant Governor’s office, which was available for updating passports, and the United Way, and Disability Rights.

And of course, a smattering of candidates and their backers were on hand to drum up a bit of support.

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