High voter turnout despite weather

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November 7, 2006

It has been a rainy afternoon, and studies show that inclement weather tends to decrease voter turnout. However, today it hasn't. The Board of Elections expects a higher than average turnout.

But bigger numbers don't necessarily mean longer lines.

Voters like Kim Devemer made it through in under 10 minutes. And it's a good thing. Studies show four percent of registered Richmond County voters are less likely to stick around if lines are long.

"When I came in last week, there were 10 times as many people here," Demever said. "I didn't wait."

8000 people voted last week, double last November's advance numbers. Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey says last week's lines are keeping today's to a minimum...a big help since a higher than average 56 percent turnout is expected.

"I've not had any panicked calls from poll workers, so that's a good thing," Bailey said.

"They're going smoothly and we've had a good day today," said poll manager Judy Blackstone.

A good day for poll workers and voters like Pastor Roy Miles, who say a smooth process helps every vote count.

"They need the right people in there...people that hold my values," Pastor Miles said. He says the only way to get the right person is to get more people to the polls.

"I pulled up, parked at the front door, came right in, and voted," Demever said.

It's been an easy process for voters. However, there have been a few small issues.

Some say the long questions on the ballot are confusing. Others weren't sure where to go. But none of that seems to be putting a damper on turnout...and we still have an hour to go.

We do want to mention in Columbia County there was a bomb threat at Riverside Middle School, which is a polling place.

Poll workers there tell us it only caused a slight interruption, but that location will stay open till 7:20 to give people in that precinct time to vote.