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Turnout steady for primary
'The people take it seriously'
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Forsyth County News
While voter apathy is always a concern come election time, John Arant was encouraged by his Forsyth County precinct’s strong turnout for the state primary Tuesday.

“Response and attendance have been great,” said Arant, the poll manager for the Polo precinct.  

Voters had much to choose from on Tuesday's ballot, which featured several local contests and many races for statewide office, including governor.

Arant said the precinct, set up in Grace Baptist Church, had a projected voter turnout of 15 percent, though he wouldn’t be surprised if it came in closer to 20 percent.

“People do take issue with policies they don’t like and express their opinions with their votes,” he said.

Overall, turnout for the primary countywide was nearly 23 percent, according to elections office figures.

On the other side of the county, Janice Davis was happy with voter turnout, even though it had not necessarily exceeded expectations.

“We hoped it would have been higher, but it’s steady,” said Davis, the poll manger for the Otwell precinct. “It doesn’t matter what election it is, I always want to see more come out.”

Davis believes one of the big reasons they didn’t experience such success as the Polo precinct could be because the prominence of advance voting in her precinct, which is housed in First Baptist Church Cumming on Sawnee Drive.

Whatever the precinct, county residents were ready to cast their votes on issues that were important to them. Some for the first time.

“It feels good,” said Terry Caldwell as she cast her vote for the very first time, accompanied by husband Shannon. “This is the first time I’ve ever wanted to get involved in this.”

Neither of the Caldwells hesitated when asked what they hoped for from their elected officials -- change.

“Just restructuring, I think,” said Shannon Caldwell, who hopes whoever wins the county commission seats will be fiscally responsible. “We want them to take it by the horns ... and keep everything moving in the right direction.”

No matter the issue, Davis was proud of the voter response from county residents.

“I’ve been a poll manger in other counties and in other states, and I’m always impressed by this county,” Davis said. “The people take it seriously.”