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Election draws a crowd for early voting
Hall elections director predicts 30-minute waits, 35 percent turnout Tuesday
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A line stretches Friday afternoon outside along the entrance to the Hall County Government Center for early voting. Average waiting time for voting was about an hour. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

Election 2012
When: Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Anyone still in line when the polls close will be allowed to vote.
Where to vote: Check your voter registration card or county election office for your precinct location, or visit the Ga. Secretary of State’s My Voter website at  mvp.sos.state.ga.us

Coming Sunday
- A look at how Republicans gained control of Georgia politics
- Voters guide: What’s on the ballot, list of Hall voting precincts.
- Viewpoint: What if the race ends in a tie?
- Editorial on charter school amendment, plus commentary from national columnists

On Election Day
Stick with gainesvilletimes.com all day Tuesday for updates on voting turnout throughout the day and updated results as the returns come in all night.

Some voters waited 50 minutes to cast early ballots Friday, but voters Tuesday can expect to wait at least 30 minutes, Hall County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said.

A line of voters stretched out of the Hall County Government Center most of the afternoon as 2,346 voters showed up. A grand total of 23,882 voted early.

Sosebee said the early voting went off without a hitch, though.

“It’s been a wild 21 days,” she said, referring to the period that began Oct. 15. “And we have talked about it for three years, and it’s over. So we’re just thrilled about how smooth everything was.”

The office averaged about 1,000 voters at the beginning, a number that gradually grew toward the end of the process.

“We’re so grateful to the people that were in line,” she said. “They were so friendly and they were so patient with us.”

Many who cast ballots early said they were able to get in and out in 10 to 20 minutes.

On Election Day, Sosebee expects wait times of 30 minutes at most precincts, and 45 minutes to an hour at larger precincts like Morgan I, Wilson, Gainesville III, Friendship I and a few others.

With some 30,000 expected to vote Tuesday, divided among the 35 precincts, that would mean fewer than 1,000 people at each polling location.

Sosebee expects 35 percent voter turnout on Election Day; 35.7 percent turned out on Election Day in 2008, the last presidential election.

Besides the presidential election, the ballot includes an open U.S. House 9th District seat as well as two statewide Public Service Commission races. Voters also will make decisions on two ballot questions, one that would create a state board to approve charter schools and another that would allow state agencies to enter into multiyear rental agreements.

To check your voting status, find your precinct and see a sample ballot, visit mvp.sos.state.ga.us.

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