Election day began at 6 a.m. at Fire Station No. 8 for poll manager Laura Adams. She had to turn on her machines, post signs and take down campaign signs that were too close to her polling place. This election was a lot different from when she started working elections in the early 1950s.
"When I worked in the '50s, the Democratic Party brought in a donkey to our polling place. Tied him out. And he brayed all day. Everybody just came on and patted the donkey. They tied him up right at the door. I bet he wasn't 20 feet from the door."
Tuesday also started early for Mrs. Adams' daughter, Annette Bush, and her granddaughter, Susan Bush, who also serve as poll managers. The Adams family women represent three generations of poll managers working for the Richmond County Board of Elections. Annette and Susan started working in politics for the Charles DeVaney mayoral campaign. Around the time of consolidation, Annette did not have a candidate she wanted to back, but she wanted to be involved in the elections.
She started as a clerk at the polling place at the fire station on Walton Way Extension. The Board of Elections needed another worker and her daughter, Susan, began at another precinct.
"Everywhere I've lived I've tried to leave it better than when I came," Annette said.
Susan has served for four years as a poll manager at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church. "I think that it is neat to be a part of the voting system," she said.
During Election Day, Annette says, she checks in with her mother and daughter once or twice to check numbers. At the end of the day, Annette and Susan will call Mrs. Adams to compare notes and share funny stories from the day.
"My children have always voted. That was one thing that was required. When they got old enough, 18, you better go register. You better vote," Mrs. Adams said. "We always felt like that was important because that is one of the privileges not many countries have."