By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Turnout tops out at 80 percent
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News

As many as 200 voters were waiting in line for their precincts to open at 7 a.m. Tuesday in Forsyth County.

An hour later, those lines were gone and it remained that way the rest of the day.

"As of 8:15 [Tuesday] morning, there were no lines in Forsyth County whatsoever," said Gary J. Smith, the county's elections chief.

"We actually let some of our poll workers go at midday. I guess we could have rented them out to some of the other counties."

Forsyth County again went overwhelmingly Republican in the election, supporting John McCain for president, Saxby Chambliss for U.S. Senate and Congressmen Nathan Deal and John Linder.

Locally, voters elected Republicans to the county commission, Patrick Bell, and school board, Darla Sexton Light, and rejected bond questions to build a new jail and sheriff's headquarters.

With nearly 52,000 residents having voted ahead of time, Smith wasn't surprised by how smoothly the voting process went on Election Day.

He was, however, discouraged that more people didn't vote on Election Day.

"Frankly, I'm disappointed in the number of people we had voting [Tuesday]," he said. "I thought we would probably have voted at least 35,000."

That total would have brought the overall voter turnout for the election to near 90 percent, which had been Smith's prediction.

As it was, about 23,600 people voted Tuesday, which brought the overall turnout to 80 percent, 5 percent less than the 85 percent turnout for the 2004 presidential election.

Voter turnout statewide was 74 percent, just shy of the 77 percent turnout in 2004. About 53 percent of this year's overall state turnout voted before the election.

Despite sending poll workers home early, Smith said he didn't overplan for the election.

"You can never overprepare for an election like this," he said. "I think the person that doesn't overprepare has problems. You've found some of that in the other counties around us.

"We just had a very, very professional group of workers who have done just an outstanding job, as usual."