Voters in Douglas and Paulding counties appeared more than ready today to choose who should fill some hotly contested statewide leadership jobs as well as some contested state legislative and county positions.
Voting reportedly was heavy at Douglas County's 25 precincts and Paulding's 12 precincts even after a higher than normal turnout for early voting in the past three weeks for this mid-term election in both areas.
Douglas County spokesman Rick Martin said he could not give early numbers from voting because each precinct maintained its own voter counts and did not release them until after polls close at 7 p.m.
"We don’t produce tabularized numbers until after the polls close," Martin said. "But I will say we are having a heavy turnout at all polling locations."
In Paulding County, some were reporting on social media this afternoon waits as long as two hours at the Shelton Elementary School precinct in northeast Paulding amid heavy turnout.
It apparently started early at the school as Paulding County Sheriff's Office urged motorists to use caution around Shelton on Cedarcrest Road around 7:30 a.m. Voters traveling to the polling place were increasing traffic congestion in the area, the sheriff's office reported.
Meanwhile, 190 voted in the first hour at Paulding's Taylor Farm Park precinct in the county's southeast corner near the Cobb County line.
Precinct manager Clara Roberson said her location had 28 voting machines available.
She said the only problem she had encountered was helping a Cobb County couple understand they needed to vote at their assigned polling place in their home county and not in Paulding County -- despite the Powder Springs address of the voting location.
"We got on 'My Voter Page' and straightened them out," Roberson said, in reference to the Georgia Secretary of State web tool which locates a registered voter's polling place based on an address.
Celeste Graham, manager for the Paulding County High School voting precinct, said her precinct had seen a "steady flow" of voters. Almost 400 voted in the first two hours, she said.
Voters appeared to generally be "very patient" despite the wait for the 20 available machines, she said.
At one point voters waited in a hall adjoining the high school's gym while rain fell, Graham said.
Christy Prewett of Dallas had her two young children in tow as she cast her ballot at the Paulding County High voting location around 10 a.m. She said no issue or candidate prompted her to go to travel to the polls.
"I vote every time," she said. "It's just what you're supposed to do."
The Watson Government Complex voting precinct also was seeing a steady flow of voters around 11 a.m.
Precinct manager Gayle Coombs said 613 had voted in the first four hours and were waiting an average of about 30 minutes at most to vote.
Coombs said the main problem she had seen was the many voters who were traveling to her location despite being assigned to any of the 11 other county voting precincts for Election Day voting.
She said many believed they should vote at the Watson complex because it was well-known as the county's only early voting location the previous three weeks, Coombs said.
The elections office set up a table outside the location with computer access for poll workers to help those voters locate the precinct they were assigned, she said.