The polls opened at 7 a.m., but the first voter showed up at Oglethorpe County's Beaverdam polling place at Sonlight Baptist Church at 6:30 a.m., and a lengthening line soon formed. Once the the polls opened at the Hargrove Lake Road church, however, the queue quickly dissipated, said poll manager Elaine McGarity. Voters arrived in a steady stream thereafter, lengthening again around 5 p.m. as people got off work and headed to polling places. "In this area, people don't vote early," she said; driving to the courthouse in the county seat, Lexington, was too far for many.
The place was easy to find
Many came with children and other family members, like Kijuana Lattimore, 24, of Oglethorpe County, who came to vote with father Stanley Lattimore Sr., mother Sharon Lattimore and son Ramone Beasley, nine months. Ramone, of course, did not vote.
"I just always like to vote on election day." Lattimore said.
Oglethorpe tends to vote Republican, but Lattimore cast her ballot for Clinton, she said.
"I voted for the lesser of two evils," she explained.
It was easy to find the Beaverdam polling place at Sonlight Baptist. No campaigning is allowed close to polling places, but across Hargrove Lake Road, a dozen campaign signs advertised candidates. Unlike Clarke County, Oglethorpe's ballot Tuesday asked voters to choose in a couple of hotly contested races, with both incumbent sheriff Mike Smith - a Democrat - and county commission chairman Billy Pittard facing challenges.
Other polling places saw similar patterns, with lines early that thinned out, then built up again toward the end of the day.
Voting in the Clarke County town of Winterville was also light at about 3 p.m. Tuesday - a steady stream of people arriving to vote, with hardly any waiting
At Athens' Chase Street Elemetnary School, principal Adam Kurtz eyed a long line t early Tuesday morning and decided to wait; a couple of hours later, he was able to vote in about 10 minutes, he said.
Tuesday was a holiday for students in Clarke County's public schools as the school district opened many of its doors to voters, but for staff it was a work day. Most of Clarke County's polling places are in schools.