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Polls close; turnout mixed at local voting precincts
by Savannah Weeks, Caroline Young, and Everett Catts
November 06, 2012 09:25 AM | 3426 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self<br>
Stephen Newland, of Buckhead, stands next in a line that stretches in loops out the door to vote at E. Rivers Elementary School in Buckhead.
Staff / Nathan Self
Stephen Newland, of Buckhead, stands next in a line that stretches in loops out the door to vote at E. Rivers Elementary School in Buckhead.
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Staff / Nathan Self<br>
Braving the cold weather and rain, voter Heather Haley, of Buckhead, waits in a long line to cast her ballot at E. Rivers Elementary School in Buckhead.
Staff / Nathan Self
Braving the cold weather and rain, voter Heather Haley, of Buckhead, waits in a long line to cast her ballot at E. Rivers Elementary School in Buckhead.
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Staff / Nathan Self<br>
Sandi Smith, of Buckhead, left, looks on as E. Rivers Elementary School poll volunteer Jacki Johnson, of Atlanta, rushes to check paperwork and hand out stickers to voters as the lines grow longer.
Staff / Nathan Self
Sandi Smith, of Buckhead, left, looks on as E. Rivers Elementary School poll volunteer Jacki Johnson, of Atlanta, rushes to check paperwork and hand out stickers to voters as the lines grow longer.
slideshow
Staff / Nathan Self<br>
Voter Kay Chance, of Buckhead, waits patiently in a long line for her turn to cast her ballot.
Staff / Nathan Self
Voter Kay Chance, of Buckhead, waits patiently in a long line for her turn to cast her ballot.
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(UPDATED AT 7 P.M. WITH QUOTES AND INFO FROM ONE POLL MANAGER ON VOTER TURNOUT)

The polls have now closed in Fulton County, and turnout was mixed at area polling places Tuesday.

At High Point Elementary School in Sandy Springs, 504 residents had voted as of 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, according to Poll Manager Nate Bednar.

"Things have gone extremely well so far," he said.

Bednar said the wait time was about 10 minutes from the time voters got in line at High Point.

According to an email from the Fulton County Department of Elections and Registration, all 346 precincts opened on time this morning.

But voters at some polling places had problems.

"In three cases, minor technical difficulties were experienced. However, voters were able to cast provisional ballots while those issues were resolved," the email stated.

E. Rivers Elementary School in Buckhead, the Palmetto Senior Center in Palmetto and the John Birdine Neighborhood Center in southwest Atlanta are the three precincts that had problems, county spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt-Dominguez wrote in an email.

At noon, 352 people had voted at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Buckhead, said Poll Manager John Packman, who added the wait time was "almost zero" at about three minutes.

He said there have been provisional votes but no issues out of the ordinary today.

"Turnout seems low," Packman said, "probably because of early voting."

At the Chastain Park Gymnasium in Buckhead, the wait was two to three minutes at 3:05 p.m., according to a few voters leaving the venue.

Poll manager Phil Jones said 1,049 people had voted Tuesday as of 3:05 p.m., and he expects about 2,000 total.

"In the last presidential election, we had about 900 voters," Jones said.

He said there was a two- to three-hour wait early this morning but right now, it is the "calm before the hurricane." Once people get off work, he said he predicted more long lines.

At Sarah Smith Elementary School in Buckhead, there was no wait to vote and only two people were casting ballots at 6:32 p.m. At that time, 1,667 residents had voted, according to a poll volunteer. Poll Manager Mary Foster said the longest wait to vote during the day was one hour.

“It’s been [going] well,” she said.

She said the low turnout at Smith on Election Day was because residents chose to cast their ballots during the two-week advance voting period, which ended Friday.

“Most people voted early,” Foster said. “They came in with the idea of 'I can vote and then go to work.'”

The polls close at 7 p.m. Check back with the Neighbor for updates on results into the night.
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