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Few go to polls for city elections
Sosebee: I am pleased, but I wish (turnout) was higher'
Michael Black casts a ballot Tuesday for the District 25 state representative at Blackshear Place Baptist Church. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Hall County voters steadily made it out to the polls Tuesday with a final turnout of 14.1 percent in Gainesville and 14.6 percent in the state House District 25 race.

While Interim Election Director Charlotte Sosebee said the turnout was higher than expected, she would like it to be better.

"In the November elections, there's usually a higher voter turnout, but for the city elections it is usually low," she said. "I am pleased, but I wish it was higher, of course."

Blondine Summeror, poll manager at the Fair Street Neighborhood Center, attributed the low turnout to the type of election at hand.

"Usually when we have a presidential election a lot of people vote," she said. "Because it's a city, it might be slow."

Gainesville resident Betty Ross said she didn't expect too many voters Tuesday.

In Gainesville, residents who are part of District 25 can vote in one place for that race and their city elections.

"Sometimes we're really for it, but if we're not, we don't vote," she said. "We didn't have too many people around pushing it."

In Flowery Branch, where voters had to go to two different locations to vote in the House race and their city elections, turnout was 15.9 percent.

"It's going very well. I was surprised," said B.J. Tjepkema, acting superintendent of the Flowery Branch election.

"We've had a steady flow since we opened at 7. They're getting it done on their way to work. I think this is better than it's been in the past. It's always been one here and there, but this is the best we've had in several years."

"I would like for (both elections) to be in one location," Flowery Branch voter Tom Dones said. "I have to get out to the other place before I have to be at work at 8:30 in Braselton."

Flowery Branch resident Sandy Pinkham said she didn't mind the two locations.

"They're both close, except it's hard (at City Hall) because there isn't a lot of parking," she said.

Chuck Boylan went to Flowery Branch City Hall to do his civic duty but other voters came for more specific reasons.

"I wanted to vote on the Sunday liquor sales. It's not necessary, if you want it you can get it on Saturday," Ross said.

Turnout was lowest in Oakwood with 5.8 percent voting. The city had a Sunday sales referendum but no contested council races on the ballot.

Times reporter Patrick Stoker contributed to this report.