• Voter turnout triples anticipated numbers in Gwinnett County

    By: Kerry Kavanaugh


    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Election officials in Gwinnett County say they have seen about triple the turnout they anticipated so far.

    The lone Gwinnett County early polling location on Grayson Highway opened Monday and has seen a long steady line ever since.     

    On Tuesday, the line snaked around the Gwinnett County's election headquarters in Lawrenceville. In the state's most diverse county, voters waited for a single purpose.

    For voters like Sheila Braswell, voting early was a convenience.

    "Actually I just finished jury duty. So I decided since I'm out here, I might as well come and do my civic duty,” Braswell told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.

    For Spencer Robinson, it's a family tradition he's now a part of.

    "It's my first time voting and I'm 19 years of age," Robinson said. "It's very important to vote so it's been a very important family tradition for our whole family to vote."

    Vote 2012 section

    He cast his first ballot alongside his father.

    "I've never missed an election since I was 18 as well. I feel real honored that I was able to bring him here to vote for his first time to keep the family tradition going,” Darryl Robinson said.

    They were among the hundreds who have already cast a ballot in Gwinnett, just two days into early voting.

    "We thought we'd have maybe (500) or 600 people. But we voted 800 by noon and we voted 1,845 by the time we closed down at five o'clock last night,” said Gwinnett County Elections Director Lynne Ledford.

    Ledford said Tuesday's turnout was pacing the same. The average wait was just under an hour, which seemed to have no impact on the election enthusiasm.

    "I think everybody needs to do their civic duty. And that's voting every chance you get. Then you can't complain,” said voter Nancy McCart.

    "I feel like I'm part of the process. I feel empowered really,” said voter Josh Wright.

    Last year, advanced in-person voting began 45 days before the election.

    This year, the state changed to 21 days before the election. Officials said that could account for some of the turnout.

    The Gwinnett County early voting location on Grayson Highway reopens Wednesday at 8 a.m.

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