Georgia's early voting gets underway - New York News

Georgia's early voting gets underway

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ATLANTA -

Thousands of Georgians cast their ballots on Monday as early voting got underway in the state.

More than 1,300 people cast their ballots in Cobb County, while 5,000 voted in Fulton County.

Special polling places in all the counties will let voters cast ballots until the Friday before Election Day. The idea is to make things more convenient for those who've already made up their mind, allowing them to avoid the long lines on Election Day.

Even with two debates still to come, some residents said they already knew how they wanted to vote.

"It wouldn't change my vote. I'm a business owner and I know what's at stake in this election…It's probably one of the most important elections that we're going to face in our lifetime," said Carol Brucker.

Voter Darrius Chism says he is taking advantage of the early voting because he can't wait to cast his ballot.

Amanda Singleton, a 19-year-old first-time voter, said the timing of the early voting start was perfect.

"I'm home for fall break from school, so I decided to vote early instead of absentee ballot," said Singleton.

Other voters, like Will Edmond, will wait for Election Day -- either still undecided or wanting to be part of the excitement of voting on Election Day itself.

Election workers said they weren't really surprised by the crowds. Early voting accounted for 15 percent of the total ballots cast in the 2000 President Election. That number doubled by 2008 to 30 percent. In Fulton County alone, an average of 3,300 people a day voted early in 2008.

Despite the convenience of early voting, one voter says it didn't save him any time during the last election.

"I did early voting, and it took me three tries because the lines were so long. Everybody wanted to do the same thing," said voter Corey Adams.

The Secretary of State's office says the first day of early voting went smoothly. The only issue was a two-hour delay in Sandy Springs because that location in Fulton County wasn't expecting such a large crowd.

Any registered voter can take advantage of early voting in Georgia. Voters need to make sure to have a government issued ID, like a passport or driver's license. Hours and locations for advance voting will vary from county-to-county. To find information for early voting and find your local election office, visit Georgia's Secretary of State Election Division website.

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