Election workers prepare for lines at polls Tuesday

Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 6:36 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 1:55 AM

A small fleet of rental trucks loaded with more than 500 electronic voting machines fanned out across Richmond County early Monday – one of the many details involved in preparing for today’s General Election.

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Volunteers helped load voting machines into trucks at the Board of Elections warehouse early Monday in preparation for today's general election. Nearly half the 80,000 expected voters have cast early ballots.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Volunteers helped load voting machines into trucks at the Board of Elections warehouse early Monday in preparation for today's general election. Nearly half the 80,000 expected voters have cast early ballots.

The trucks and their crews had 50 polling places to set up. David Taylor had 12 stops to make in his truck, starting at Eastview Recreation Center and ending at Asbury United Methodist Church.

Taylor, a retired county maintenance employee, and his son, Jonathan, had the setup down to a science.

“It only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to set up one place,” he said.

By 9:30 they were working on their third location, Dyess Park. Taylor wheeled into the parking lot, and before he had come to a stop, Jonathan was out of the cab, helping direct his father while he backed in. Then, assisted by a crew of about four others, they quickly off-loaded a rolling cart full of equipment and went to work setting up the polling place.

In short order, they had six voting machines set up and were out the door and off to the next stop.

Jonathan Taylor said he has helped his father set up elections for more than half his life.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 13, and now I’m 30,” he said.

Richmond County Elections Director Lynn Bailey said all the polling places are normally set up no later than 3 p.m.

Even though nearly half of the 80,000 or so voters expected in this election have already cast their ballots – either through advance voting or by mail – Bailey still predicted some lines at the polls today.

“Everyone should expect some sort of wait,” she said.

Voters can dodge long lines by avoiding peak voting times – early in the morning, lunchtime and after 5 p.m.

“The best times to come will be 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.,” she said.

Unlike the past three weeks of advance voting, voters today will have to go to their designated polling places to cast ballots. Bailey urged voters to make certain of their polling places and to take a photo ID.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote, she said.

“We will mark the lines at 7 p.m. to make sure whoever is in line at that time can still vote,” she said.

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OpenCurtain 11/06/12 - 06:27 am
Let us pray,

that this is a smooth and orderly voting process today.

Just like in 2008, our country is too evenly divided, and no additional fuel needs to be inadvertently added to the problem.

Dixieman 11/06/12 - 07:35 am
Vote early - and often!

Due to expected large crowds and long lines at the polls, I recommend that Republicans vote today and Democrats vote on Wednesday.

soapy_725 11/06/12 - 09:35 am
Because of the storm

NY said it is allowing people to vote at any location they can reach. Now that is another "storm of the century" in the making. NY and NJ just showing up anywhere with not designated polling precinct or list of active voters.

Will the media blame God for the disruption of the election? If Romney wins in the N.E. will Brigham Young also be the NCAA champs? If Obama wins will we see an increase in Muslim evangelism?

What if this election is determined by and Act of God?

nanowerx 11/06/12 - 10:33 am
All jokes aside, people of all parties need to vote.

I encourage EVERYONE to vote. Republican, Democrat, Libertarian; get out there and vote. Nothing I hate worse than somebody who doesn't vote but still feels the need to criticize government. You have no right to be upset unless you can say you did your part and actually voted.

pooh2boo 11/06/12 - 11:53 am

Just got back from voting. They had plenty of people working so it took no time at all to vote. Good work Richmond county. VOTE for who you want for the offices on the ballot. You can get jury duty if you vote or not now.

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