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Voting turnout tops 42 percent

Long waits not likely Tuesday

POSTED: November 4, 2012 12:33 a.m.
 

More than 42 percent of Forsyth County’s registered voters have cast their ballots for the presidential election Tuesday.

Barbara Luth, the county’s elections supervisor, said more than 49,300 residents took part through early and advance voting, or by sending in absentee ballots.

About 18,400 people voted between Oct. 15-27 at one of two locations in downtown Cumming.

Last week, voting expanded to five locations, with nearly 28,000 voters taking part. More than 10,200 of those ballots were cast at the Sharon Springs Park Community Building in south Forsyth.

“South Forsythians vote early and they come out [strong],” Luth said. “So their turnouts have topped everybody.”

Local elections officials have previously said they anticipate overall turnout as high as 80 percent.

In addition to the race for president, the ballot includes local and congressional offices, as well as two state referendums.

Last week, the Hampton Park library, in the county’s north end, had the lightest traffic, with fewer than 3,200 voters.

“It’s not as heavily populated up north,” Luth said. “It’s still growing.”

She expects to see the same breakdown on Tuesday.

That’s why the populous Midway and Windermere precincts will have the most voting machines — 20 apiece — on Tuesday to handle the expected turnout.

About 15 percent of the county’s 116,000 registered voters, or some 17,000, hail from those precincts.

Most of the other precincts will get between eight to 12 voting machines. The breakdown is one machine for every 200 anticipated voters, according to Luth.

She added that she doesn’t expect long lines Tuesday.

“Through all of early voting, even with the longest line, it was only 35 minutes at one point,” Luth said. “I don’t think they’re going to have anything longer than that.

“Our poll workers are good and they get them in and out and through the lines quickly. They’re very organized.”

To avoid delays Tuesday, Luth recommends not coming during what are expected to be the two busiest periods — early in the morning and lunchtime. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon will have the shortest times.

For those waiting to vote until they get off work, there’s another important factor.

“They have to be in line by 7 p.m.,” Luth said. “If you’re in line, you get to vote.”

She also noted all voters need to double check before casting a ballot.

“They have to check the summary screen before they hit ‘cast ballot’ to make sure that it’s exactly who you touched.

“Because unfortunately [that could change] if you put your hand on other portions of the screen. The voters need to check the summary screen before they hit ‘cast ballot.’”

 

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