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UPDATED: DeKalb voter turnout stalls
by Bobby Tedder
tedder@neighbornewspapers.com
July 31, 2012 02:38 PM | 2122 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>
Dunwoody resident Jody Storm and her granddaughter Marily Minton, 7, leave the Dunwoody Library polling precinct after receiving a sticker from precinct clerk Keith Lauer.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Dunwoody resident Jody Storm and her granddaughter Marily Minton, 7, leave the Dunwoody Library polling precinct after receiving a sticker from precinct clerk Keith Lauer.
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DeKalb County election officials said they are less optimistic about reaching voter turnout goals after witnessing a significant slowing down of poll activity from earlier in the day.

At last check, close to 51,000 residents — without all precincts reporting — turned up at the polls to cast their ballots, according to the DeKalb Board of Registration and Elections.

“That’s about 16 to 17 percent [of eligible voters] ... our chances of making the 30 percent that we had hoped for aren't very good,” said Board Director H. Maxine Daniels.

Some individual precincts are seeing well over 30 percent turnout, though — notably Brookhaven, where the cityhood referendum is a hot button topic.

Except for parking issues at the Smokerise precinct, election day has largely gone on without incident. Those issues have since been corrected and the poll will remain open until 7 p.m., Daniels said.

Election staff and voters experienced the usual “hiccups” related to technical difficulties early on.

“Old equipment, which is what we have, is temperamental,” said Daniels. “But, we’ve had no major issues — nothing we weren’t able to work through.

“For the most part, by 8:30 a.m. everything had settled down … it’s par for the course, no different than other elections.”

Today’s early turnout numbers are supplemented by decent advance voting figures.

More than 20,000 of DeKalb County voters hit the polls early to cast ballots for today’s 2012 General Primary Election, according to a board of elections report.

Residents were given the option to vote in person at several locations throughout the county and by mail via absentee ballot July 9 through 27. Voters must now vote at their assigned precincts in order to participate in today’s election.

Today’s rainy conditions’ potential impact on turnout may truly be discernable via the correlation between weather and voter apathy, Daniels said.

“If people are not really interested, a little bit of rain will stop them from coming out to vote,” she said.

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