In just five hours of voting on Sunday, October 19, Fulton County Director of Registrations and Elections Richard Barron says there were 1,507 voters at the seven locations that were open. According to Barron, “We had more voters Sunday than we did Saturday, and even more voters than we had on Tuesday, October 14, when we had twelve hours of voting.”
Sunday was the first time that Georgia has had voting on that day of the week. Barron thinks the high participation had to do with the promotion of Sunday voting. Dekalb County, the first to approve Sunday voting, will open polls for the first time on a Sunday, on October 26.
Early voting for the November election began in Fulton County on Monday, October 13. Barron says since the start, there have been more than 13,000 ballots cast. He said if they can keep up the same number of voter average per site this week, “we should have somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000 voters by the end of the second week.” Barron does admit that it’s a very optimistic goal, but says, “it’s something that is achievable if people decide it’s more convenient to vote early.” Not only does he believe it is more convenient, he says, “if anyone has an issue it’s much more easy to fix during early voting, rather than on election day.”
There are 19 sites open for early voting in Fulton County. And Barron says, “you don’t have to go to a specific site as you do on election day.”
At the Adamsville Recreation Center in southwest Atlanta, Barron says, “they were real busy over there.” Busy indeed. The Souls to the Polls campaign had cars lined up at the rec center from First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta. Several buses carrying voters came in from Ebenezer Baptist Church. Churches urged parishioners to leave Sunday service and then head to the polls to vote.
Buckhead residents Robby Preddy Ward and husband Charles Ward wore smiles as they exited the North Fulton County Government Service Center in Sandy Springs Sunday. Asked why they were so jovial, they said in unison, “Because we just voted”. The Wards said that more needs to be done to help residents to be able to vote. Mr. Ward said, “we need to make it easier for people to vote and not make it harder.” Mrs. Ward said that voting should be made more convenient, “especially for the people who work odd shifts, evening shifts”. She also expressed concern about voters who don’t have daycare for their children. She said, “how are they going to be able to vote?”
18 year old Madina Aluqdeh of southwest Atlanta said, “contrary to popular belief, people of a younger age do vote.” She also had another message, “what we do, and our voting, does make a difference.”
Barron says the early voting process in Fulton County has been “very smooth so far.” He adds, “I think that now that we have 19 locations open, it’s going to run even smoother and help election day as well.”
(Members of Ebenezer Baptist Church at the Adamsville Recreation Center on Sunday. left to right: Mark Moore, Garry Harris, Natalie Moore, Charles Reed, Shirley Hider, and Elliott Bryant)