High Voter Turnout Seen During Early Voting Period

The number of early voters surpasses 2008 numbers by tens of thousands.

Despite extremely long wait times on Saturday for early voters -- up to 8 hours at the Centerville Community Center -- more voters have been able to cast their ballot early than in the last presidential election.

Joe Sorenson, Gwinnett County's Communication Director, said that a total of 50,054 Gwinnett voters cast their ballots early during the 2008 election.

As of yesterday, 76,955 have already voted, and that doesn't include those who voted by mail.

And while the wait times were long, people were moving through quicker this year than during the last election, according to Sorenson.

In 2008, 10,720 people voted at the Centerville location. As of yesterday, 9,734 residents in that precinct had already voted.

One of the reasons for the increased numbers is that in 2008, there were only 5 days to vote early. This year, people were given three weeks, plus Saturday. However, the first couple of weeks had limited places to vote, and the majority of voting has taken place this week. 

As of 4 p.m. on Friday, voters were still wrapped around the Centerville Community Center. The average wait time around was two and a half hours. 

Exhausting, to say the least. 

"I'm going to go home and take a nap!" said Jaye Peabody, executive director of Covenant Counseling and Family Resource Planning, as she walked back to her car after casting her ballot. 

Still, she was in good spirits and glad to have had the opportunity to vote early. 

Another voter circled the make shift parking lot behind the center, trying to find a spot. 

"This is fantastic!" she called out from her vehicle. "Long lines are a good sign!"

Because a good chunk of Gwinnett has already voted, lines on Tuesday shouldn't be too bad, according to Sorenson. 


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