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Early voting a hit among Clayton residents
by Bill Baldowski
November 08, 2012 04:57 PM | 2398 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Despite the news media interviewing her countless times during the early voting period, which ended Friday, Clayton County Elections and Registration Director Annie Bright remained upbeat, and for good reason.

Last Friday’s early voting line snaked well outside her office and into the front yard of the historic Clayton County Courthouse as county residents took advantage of early voting opportunities in order to avoid the long voting lines expected yesterday.

Bright said even before last Friday’s early voting totals were calculated, 49,270 Clayton residents had voted in this presidential election year.

In addition, she said, there were no reports of major problems from any of Clayton’s early voting locations.

“The early voting turnout has been good since the first day of early voting,” Bright said.

“With the planning and other necessary actions we took before early voting began, we had not expected problems and it looks like that has been the case,”

she added.

Exiting the early voting location at the historic courthouse Friday, voter Roger Wimbush described his early voting experience this year in two words, “absolutely great.”

“The main thing early voting does is that it gives people the option of avoiding the lines on election day, and I am so glad I decided to give it a try,” he said, adding the wait to cast his ballot at the courthouse was 45 minutes.

Another voter at the courthouse, Kathy Wilcox, said her wait in the early voting line was about an hour, but she didn’t mind.

“If I had waited until Tuesday to cast my ballot, the wait would have been more than twice that long,” she said.

“I even met some new friends in line while we waited to cast our vote early” Wilcox said.

Although the turnout at some polling places during early voting period was light, there were still lines, but it did not adversely impact early voting, Bright said.

One rather unique situation that arose more than once in Clayton County’s early voting was actually caused not by Clayton residents but residents of counties that boarder Clayton.

According to Bright, there were some voters from other counties that had hoped to vote in their home county races in Clayton but Bright’s staff was able to assist them in casting their ballot properly.

“Overall, we didn’t hear many people complaining about standing in line because they knew any wait to vote on Tuesday would have been longer,” Bright said.

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