Voters decide more than 200 local and state races - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Voters decide more than 200 local and state races

 July 20, 2004

Albany-- In Dougherty County, election officials expected a fairly good turnout.

Things got off to a slow start Tuesday morning, but this is normally a busy time as people head to the polls after work. At the Beattie Road Church of Christ precinct, voters are still in line to cast ballots.

There's less than an hour before polls close in today's primary. It's still unclear how last minute voting will effect turnout, but the day definately got off to a slow start.

Lunch time is the half way mark for voting and many of the polls had just a handful of voters. Some only had one or two. "It's been steady," said Poll worker Jack Cox. "Steady all along and everything. People are enjoying voting and everything and they're coming in in a good mood and leaving in a good mood I hope."

"There's a lot of interest. A lot going on. A lot of people interested in a lot of different races."

But even with interesting races, elections officials say by 2:00PM, the voter turnout hadn't been that high. "Right now including the absentee turnout it's around 21%. Some of our precincts are voting fairly heavily. Some of them are not quite up to par," said Elections supervisor Carolyn Hatcher.

Hatcher is banking on the after work crowd to boost those numbers. Still she says there is a plus, so far the election has gone on without a hitch. "It's been very smooth. I've been very pleased with our voters and our polls workers are doing a great job."

Even voters say they didn't run into problems casting their ballots. "I recognized it when I first looked at it very simple. No problems at all,"  said Voter Ella Yarbrough.

And poll workers and elections officials are hoping to keep that record of no problem going as they try to give these last minute voters a chance to cast ballots and hopefully increase the turnout numbers.

posted at 5:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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