Election officials pleased with early voting numbers
Early voting began Monday, April 28, for Georgia’s primary races with candidates waving people to the polls for one of the earliest elections in state history.
In DeKalb County, 559 voters cast their ballots on the first day of early voting, many of them senior citizens, according to DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Director Maxine Daniels.
“The seniors have led the turnout so far. Many of them have been shuttled in by churches and other groups,” Daniels said. “After the rain stopped, we had steady traffic but there hasn’t been a particular time of the day when volume was particularly high."
Although DeKalb has about 450,000 registered voters, the 559 voters on the first day of early voting can be considered a decent turnout, Daniels said.
“When you look at 2010, a good comparable election year, we had 1,490 voters during the first two weeks in total. Voters waited until the end of the early voting period to come out,” Daniels said. “I would say the turnout this time is encouraging. It seems that voters are not waiting until the final week to early vote as they have in the past.”
Elks Marty, who lives in the Tucker area, said she took advantage of early voting because she wanted to beat the crowds.
“They say the early bird gets the worm. I always come to early voting because there is no pressure, no stress, no lines. It just makes everything easier to handle,” said Marty. “The poll workers were so polite. The whole process was great and efficient.”
Gwinnett County Voter Registration and Elections Director Lynn Ledford said the 190 voters who came to the polls on April 28 is an average turnout for the first day in this election. Gwinnett has 437,000 registered voters.
“This is about the average number you would expect to see in this type of election,” Ledford said. “We haven’t noticed a particular time of day where voter turnout was particularly high. We expected these kinds of numbers. So this is a good average of people coming out to take advantage of early voting. The 2010 numbers were slightly higher at this time of the early period, but we expect them to go up because voters know the early voting period is shorter this election.”
In Rockdale, voter registration staff counted 298 early votes on the first day. Rockdale has 55,900 registered voters.
“Historically, the first couple of days are always rather slow, but we expect numbers to pick up as the last day of early voting comes closer to an end,” said Cynthia Welch, Rockdale County’s Supervisor of Elections. “I am pleased that a diverse group of people, comprised of all age groups, have come to cast their vote.”
Welch says voters are on track to have positive numbers for the early election period.
“When compared to 2010 elections, we had about the same numbers, but in 2010, you had 45 days of early voting,” Welch said. “This time, there are only about 19 days for early voting. We hope our numbers continue to increase during the remainder of early voting.”
DeKalb Democrats seek volunteers for voter rallies
The Democratic Party of DeKalb County is hosting Saturday “rallies” from 12 – 7 p.m. in preparation of the May 20 election. The rallies are scheduled May 3, 10 and 17.
Party representatives will discuss canvassing, caravanning and phone banking during the rallies.
The May 3 rally is for women in DeKalb County. The May 10 rally is for members of the faith-based community and youths. The May 17 rally is for men in the community. Another session will be held for men in the community on May 18, 12 – 7 p.m.
All volunteer rallies will be held at the Democratic Party Office, 3203 Glenwood Road, Decatur.
DeKalb Young Democrats to host Senate 42 forum
The DeKalb Young Democrats will host a political forum Tuesday, May 6, 7 – 9 p.m., at Agnes Scott College, 141 E College Ave., Decatur, for candidates Elena Parent and Kyle Williams, who are running for the Georgia District 42 Senate seat. .
State Sen. Jason Carter is vacating the seat to run for Governor.
The neighborhoods of North Druid Hills, Druid Hills, North Decatur, City of Decatur, Oakhurst, East Lake, Kirkwood, Edgewood, and Belvedere Park (and surrounding neighborhoods) are invited to attend the forum.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s political insider Jim Galloway will serve as the moderator.
Reservations are required to enter, due to limited seating. First-come, first-served seating will be available after 7 p.m. for people who do not register in advance.
Register in advance at http://senate42forum.brownpapertickets.com or on Facebook at http://goo.gl/te5VW8.
Rockdale Democrats seek volunteers for elections
The Rockdale County Democratic Party is seeking volunteers for various tasks that must be done for the May 20 election.
Some of the duties include poll watchers, phone banking, providing food or snacks and driving voters to the polls or delivering meals to other volunteers.
Training and information will serving as a poll watcher will be held Thursday, May 1; Tuesday, May 6; or Thursday, May 8, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Training also will be provided on Saturday, May 3, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Text POLL, class date and your email to 770-648-4859.
Sign up to be on the phone bank team by texting CALL and your email to 770-648-4859.
Training for volunteers will be provided by members of the Blue Rockdale Academy. For more information, visit: www.RockdaleDems.org.
Deltas host candidates forum in Decatur
The Decatur and Stone Mountain-Lithonia Alumnae Chapters of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. will host a candidates forum on Thursday, May 8, 6 – 9 p.m., at the Community Achievement Center, Inc., 4522 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur.
Candidates seeking election for Congress, State School Superintendent, State Senators and State House of Representatives have been invited to discuss their platforms. 404-214-7400.
Pictured at top: DeKalb County poll workers go over the procedures of early voting at the Tucker Recreation Center precinct during the early voting period.