Cobb early voters waited longer
by Geoff Folsom
gfolsom@mdjonline.com
November 07, 2012 01:32 AM | 2050 views | 3 3 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — About 75 percent of Cobb’s 415,314 registered voters cast ballots for Tuesday’s election, but the lines for early voting in Cobb were longer than on Election Day.

The county didn’t receive any reports of long lines when polls closed at 7 p.m., county spokesman Robert Quigley said.

“It’s not like some of these other places where they had these crazy long lines,” he said.

A fire alarm Tuesday morning at the Nobis Works center on Bells Ferry Road, forced voters and poll workers out of that site for 29 minutes. As a result, that polling location remained open until 7:29 p.m., Quigley said.

Tim Cowan of west Cobb said he got in line to vote at 6:50 a.m. at Cheatham Hill Elementary School but didn’t get to vote until 8:10 a.m. He said that he never saw more than half of the voting machines in use at that polling site, and that there was a bottleneck because of the machines poll workers use to check identification.

“There were plenty of (voting) machines to use, they just were not being used,” he said.

Quigley said he wasn’t aware of problems at Cheatham Hill, but said the longest waits of the day approached an hour shortly after the polls opened.

The first returns from Cobb appeared on the Secretary of State’s election reporting website about 8:37 p.m. Tuesday. That was much sooner than in the July 31 primary, when the first results were not available until 9:30 p.m.

Most of Cobb’s ballots, including the mail-in ballots, were tabulated by midnight. Provisional ballots won’t be counted until Friday.

The county was able to post results on its TV23 channel, though staff had to manually update the number of precincts as they reported.

“We’re 90 percent happy with the way it turned out,” Quigley said. “We want to get the number of precincts reporting to sync up.”

Some Wheeler High School students conducted exit polls to research the influence of the media on elections. Teacher Michelle Colasurdo had her 29 Advanced Placement government students visit five polling locations, and each student talked to 10 voters Tuesday morning.

“I hope that they learn about different sources of media,” Colasurdo said. “Depending on how people get their information, it could definitely play a role in their election choice.”

Colasurdo first had her students participate in the exercise during the 2010 midterm election, but this was the first time they did it for a presidential contest. She said voters were lining up to participate in the student’s polling at some locations.
Comments
(3)
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VFP42
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November 07, 2012
There should be a fee for early voting. Let the market sort out how much to charge.

Want to vote for free? Do it on Election Day.
Linda K
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November 07, 2012
I waited almost three hours to vote early. This is not acceptable. I think Cobb County needs to clean house and employ people from Dekalb County to run the Elections
Just Sayin'....
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November 07, 2012
The early voting issues in Cobb were outrageous and there is quite simply no excuse for this. If Fulton and Dekalb can do this with a wait time a fraction of what ours was, there is simply no excuse.
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