Early Voting Closes in Georgia - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/29/04

Early Voting Closes in Georgia

Waiting in line in at the county courthouse. Waiting in line in at the county courthouse.

Turnout for early voting has been better than election officials had hoped. Every day this week, hundreds of people lined up to vote at the Chatham County Courthouse.

At 10am this morning, Marilyn Hicks was one of the last people in line. "I came from Lamorada, California, slept in my truck across the street...so I could get up early this morning and thought I'd be one of the first ones in line," she told us. "But the line was already down the sidewalk."

Her expected wait was three to four hours.

Even though about 3,000 people have waited in line and voted early that's, nothing compared to what we could see on election day. In Chatham County, there are more than 140,000 people registered to vote in this election.

Inside in the courthouse, election workers were trying to keep up. They were dealing with 50 or so voters an hour. They were also keeping track of thousands of absentee ballots, which were mailed in.

But no one seems to mind, whether they're working or waiting. "I believe in voting," said Hicks. "I believe in the right to vote, I'm glad I have that right and I want to see the best man win."

Early voting is over in Chatham County and all across Georgia. If you haven't cast your ballot yet, you are going to have to wait until election day on Tuesday. The polls will be open from 7am to 7pm.

Election officials are expecting record turnout, so voters will likely be waiting in some pretty long lines on Tuesday, too.

Election officials are already talking about making changes for early voting for the next presidential election, including a bigger location, or several throughout the county.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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