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UPDATED: Polls close, have steady turnout
by Everett Catts
ecatts@neighbornewspapers.com
July 31, 2012 08:28 AM | 2172 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self<br>
Volunteer Joe Ferrell of Johns Creek checks the ID of voter Chet Touton of Roswell before he cast his ballot Friday at the North Fulton Annex during the early voting period. Friday was the last day of early voting.
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(UPDATED AT 8:45 P.M. WITH NEW QUOTES FROM ONE POLL MANAGER ON VOTER TURNOUT)

All day at the polls, turnout in Buckhead, Sandy Springs and Vinings has been steady during today's primary election.

At High Point Elementary School in Sandy Springs, 25 people had voted as of 7:25 a.m., said poll manager Nate Bednar. A reporter observed seven voters in the room at 7:25 a.m. today. Bednar said one person was waiting at the door when the polling place opened at 7 a.m., adding there had been no problems with the voting machines so far this morning.

When asked what he expected in voter turnout today, he said, “I would just say generally the turnout will be better than normal.”

At Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Buckhead, 185 people had voted as of 11:40 a.m. A reporter saw only four people voting at that time, but poll manager John Packman said lunchtime is slower than the mornings and late afternoons, when residents vote before or after work.

Packman said there are about 1,400 registered voters in the precinct. He also said his expectations have been exceeded and there is a heavier volume of voters than he foresaw.

“We’ve been busy all day. It’s been consistently busy,” Packman said. “It’s busier than past collections other than presidential elections, or at least it seems busier, maybe because it’s a longer ballot. It takes them about three or four minutes.”

In an email Tuesday at 11:14 a.m., Alicia Phillips, a spokeswoman for the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections, said the county had not experienced any problems with polling places thus far.

"All of our polling locations opened on time and turnout has been steady," she said.

Back at High Point at 6:45 p.m., Bednar said he was pleased with the turnout overall, adding 746 of 3,800 registered voters in the precinct had voted today.

“Turnout is fantastic,” he said. “[About 20 percent] I would say it is [unusual] based on my experience. … We’ve had almost a flawless election this time. It’s gone very well.”

Check back with the Neighbor throughout the day for updates on the election, including results and reaction from candidates.

Live election results will be posted via our twitter accounts @NorthsideNbr and @NeighborNews.



- Staff Writer Caroline Young and Senior Staff Writer Noreen Lewis Cochran contributed to this report.
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