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Not quite half of Hall voters cast ballots Nov. 6
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Voters wait in line to vote Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at the Friendship I precinct at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in South Hall County. - photo by Scott Rogers

Voter turnout in Hall County was 47.9 percent, with 63,952 casting ballots on Tuesday.

Steady streams of voters shuffled through precincts across Hall County casting ballots in the Nov. 6 general election, with wait times sometimes reaching up to an hour.

During the last midterm elections in 2014, 44,360 Hall County voters cast ballots, about 56 percent of all registered voters at the time.

In the 2016 presidential election, 71,396 ballots were cast, about 78.5 percent of registered voters.

At Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, the line at 8:30 a.m. wound its way through the hallway as people waited about 45 minutes.

Poll watchers told The Times precincts like Tadmore had continuous lines throughout the day, and some precincts, such as in Clermont, had lines of voters past 7 p.m.

At Journey Church in North Hall at 10:45 a.m., voters were waiting around 30 minutes. At the Brenau Downtown Center, there was no line at 9:30 a.m. One voter reported having a wait time of less than 5 minutes. Voters at Gainesville First United Methodist Church reported waiting about 45 minutes to vote at 11 a.m.

There were some minor problems at the polls, such as voters showing up to the wrong precinct, Hall County elections officials said.

And the recent changing of the clocks for daylight saving time caused some voting machines to be inoperable at the Chestatee precinct before the problem was eventually remedied.

Overall, Wurtz, who was overseeing her first election for Hall County, said things were “very efficient.”

Whether on the left or the right, many Hall voters were in agreement that today’s political climate is too divided.

“Politicians just play with the crowd’s emotions to manipulate us, and we play into it,” said Jose Torres, 46, who was voting at Prince of Peace.  

Some lamented it’s difficult to discuss politics with civility.

“No one wants to listen to the other side and it’s just sad. We can’t even talk anymore without insulting one another, and it’s from both sides,” Aisha Ndiaya, 24, said.

But the right to express those opinions at the ballot box was taken seriously by those at the polls.

“I’m voting because it’s my responsibility. I made sure to bring my son to show him how important it is,” A.J Turner, 37, said.

Reporter Joshua Silavent contributed to this report.

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Friendship I precinct voters were waiting in line for about 45 minutes to cast their ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in South Hall County. - photo by Scott Rogers
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