Record Voter Turnout Expected in Georgia - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/28/04

Record Voter Turnout Expected in Georgia

Early voters in line. Early voters in line.

Early voting in Chatham County has been a huge success. All week, residents have been lining up, waiting to cast their ballots. But election officials say, we haven't seen anything yet. They're expecting record numbers on Tuesday.

And over the next five days, the board of elections is making sure all the voting machines are in place and the poll workers are properly trained.

"It really makes a big difference," said early voter Ali McKinney. "Right now, there's so many things going on in our economy and the world today, it just makes a big difference and it's important that I do get out here and vote."

Today, the line of early voters wrapped around the courthouse. "I was here at eight, what time is it now, noon, four hours," said Kenley Hostetter. Was it worth the wait? "I don't know, we'll see if my guy wins."

Why wait in long lines now, when it could be much faster on election day? Many people say because they have other plans on November 2.

"My daughter is coming to visit and I don't want to wait in line when she's visiting, so I thought it would be a good idea to vote early," said Mary Zipser.

There have been long lines all week for early voting in Chatham County. So far, thousands of people have already cast their ballots. But the Savannah-Chatham Board of Elections still expects huge crowds on election day.

"The turnout, from every indicator we've gotten so far, is going to be probably record setting," said Tom Cole.

The elections boards says it's ready. Most of the voting machines have been delivered and every voting location will be staffed.

"We have lots of poll workers, about 850 poll workers and managers, so they're ready to go," said Cole.

Today, the last of the workers went through training. It looks like everything is in place for election Tuesday.

Early voting continues in Georgia through 5pm tomorrow. In Chatham County, the only place you can vote this week is at the voter registration office at the courthouse on MLK.

You can check out who's on your ballot before you vote online: click here.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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