Voter turnout is being described as “steady”, to better than average in a handful of counties GPB has checked-in with today.
In northeast Georgia’s White County, elections supervisor Garrison Baker says it’s been steady at the county’s 11 precincts into the early afternoon. And he says it’s been set-up by a 20 percent return in early voting-- better than average for the county.
“We just weren’t sure if that was going to translate into more people coming to the polls or if it just was more people taking advantage of the early voting process. Based on what we’re seeing, there’s an interest in this election, so we’re seeing more people come out.”
Baker projects a nearly 60 percent total for combined turnout--early and election day balloting.
Elsewhere, in southeast Georgia’s Glynn County, elections supervisor Cynthia Johnson says many of the county’s 43,000 registered and active voters were ready to go at 7am.
“Started out right away, people lined-up ready to vote, and it’s continued steadily all morning. Our early voting was just about 19 percent, and that would be by mail and in person for absentee.”
Johnson projects up to a 50 percent combined early and election day total—about the same as the last midterm cycle four years ago.
Elections officials in middle Georgia's Houston County say turnout's been steady their too into the early afternoon. The county already had 16 percent of its eligible voters return 'early' ballots.
In Peachtree City, a steady stream of people headed to the polls during the day in the mostly conservative suburb south of Atlanta.
Steve Russell is an electrical engineer by trade and an independent voter. He says he voted mainly Republican.
"[For] Governor, Lt Governor...I voted Republican. I think unfortunately this year the choice for governor was between the bad and the worse, I went for the bad instead of the worse."
Russell says he’s not happy with the ethics issues surrounding Deal and he’s soured by Barnes’ past performance.
Elaine Rippman is a Republican who is retired.
She says she normally sits the midterm election out, but she’s not happy with what’s going on in Congress particularly with the national health care law and the social security budget, so she took her dissatisfaction to the polls.
"Normally, I do the major election, but I decided to do this one. Because of the way everything is going in the country, we need a change."
Russell and Rippman were two of the 600 people who had showed up to vote by midday at a Peachtree City precinct.
Poll workers there say that’s a normal, healthy count for this midterm election.
Voters statewide are considering a full ballot with decisions to be made in elections for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and state schools superintendent. Also on the ballot--choices for commissioners of labor, agriculture and insurance.
Voters will also cast decisions for 13 congressional districts, a U.S. Senator, a Public Service Commissioner, and other state and local races. In addition, five constiutional amendments are in front of voters.
Polling precincts will be open until 7 tonight. Voters must show photo ID.
A reminder for listeners of GPB Radio that we will have complete coverage of Georgia and national elections tonight beginning at 8 on GPB.
Contributors: Melissa Stiers