Voting is going slowly in Gainesville, with Hall County Election Charlotte Sosebee’s projection of 25 percent looking less likely.
The city, which has 10,974 registered active voters, would need 2,743 ballots cast to hit that number. As of 3 p.m., the number of ballots was 1,260, including 511 advance voters.
However, polls are open until 7 p.m. and more voters could be pouring in after work.
Voter turnout was brisk this morning at the Gainesville Civic Center but slow at the Fair Street Neighborhood Center and the Brenau Downtown Center, officials said.
“It’s better than I expected,” said Mike Dyer, poll manager at the civic center, 830 Green St. “One lady showed up before 7 a.m., and we’ve been steady ever since.”
Poll managers at Fair Street, 715 Fair St., and the downtown center (former Georgia Mountains Center), 301 Main St., each said they had seen about 15 people as of 9 a.m.
“We have sent quite a few people away, because they were in the wrong place,” Brenau poll manager Evelyn Crain said.
Fair Street assistant poll manager Gary Osteen said several residents who didn’t live in the city but thought they could vote were turned away.
While disappointed, “they were real nice,” he said.
Four people — Charles Alvarez, Danny Dunagan, Debra Harkrider and Rose Johnson — are vying for a four-year elected mayor position in Gainesville. It’s the first time the city has had such a post, historically rotating the mayor’s job among sitting City Council members every two years.
In Flowery Branch, three seats are up for grabs. Shanon Lutz, wife of Hall County Commissioner Craig Lutz, is running against incumbent Mayor Mike Miller. Incumbent Post 5 Councilwoman Tara Richards faces challenger Chris Fetterman, who has previously served on the council. And retiree Ed Edwards is opposing incumbent Post 3 Councilman Fred Richards.
The lone voting place is at city hall, 5517 Main St.
In Clermont, Bret Adams, Lynn Adams (no relation), Bradley Armour, Kristi Crumpton and incumbent Mary Ellen “Ma” Rogers are vying for two at-large seats on the Town Council — one of which is being vacated by James “Sonny” Helton.
By mid-afternoon, 36 people had cast votes. With 48 ballots cast in early voting, the town is headed toward Clermont City Clerk Sandra Helton’s projection of 100 or more.
“We (were) a little slow this morning,” Clermont City Clerk Sandra Helton said. “I’m expecting a majority of (voters) in the afternoon.”
Clermont’s voting is taking place at Town Hall, 109 King St.
If you are unsure which ward you live in or have any other questions about the voting process, call the Hall County Elections Office at 770-531-6945.
Voters need to bring valid photo identification to the polls.