Lilburn Votes: 'A Poll Manager's Dream'

At the Berkmar United Methodist Church, workers and voters were all smiles on Election Day, making one poll manager very happy.

As Election Day turned into Election Night, spirits were still high at Berkmar United Methodist Church.

The church is the polling place for Precinct 103, which includes Lilburn and Lawrenceville residents. About 6 p.m., some 970 people had voted at the location.

In the 2008 election, 961 total ballots were cast there, so before polls closed the precinct was already outpacing itself. Thankful, dedicated voters made the long hours for workers worth it.

-- For all Lilburn election-related coverage, see the 2012 Lilburn Area Election Guide. --

"It's been steady and extremely polite," said poll manager David Bugg, of voters. "A poll manager's dream. They were cooperative. Everyone was helpful to each other."

"Weather did not deter them in any way, form or fashion," he added.

Nora Gaspar, 28, said there was no way she wasn't going to vote. She got off work early just to come to the church polling location, in anticipation of long lines. 

There weren't any by the time she got there in the last hour of voting.

"I just feel that as a citizen I have to exercise that right to vote," said Gaspar, who voted for President Barack Obama. "No, not have to, but I just feel like everyone should. I mean, no one can complain if they don't go out and vote."

If Obama didn't win, Gaspar said she wouldn't mope about it. Lucky for her, she didn't have to think about the day after with Obama at the helm.

Bugg, the only poll manager for the precinct in its 30-year existence, said having new voters was an "extremely exciting" part of the day. By 6 p.m., 50 had come through the precinct, he said.

And, for those first-time voters there was clapping and cheering.

"We know our voters," Bugg said. " We try to make it a community event to come here."

Jessica Ramos, 19, was one of those first-time voters. Although caught off-guard by all the applause, she appreciated the poll workers' enthusiasm.

"For some reason," she said about her experience, "I thought it was going to be harsh. I don't know why."

Ramos wasn't so sure about the issues, but she did know about the person she wanted in charge -- President Barack Obama.

"He likes to help people," she said. "I'm not a big fan of Romney."

Her choice falls in line with the precinct's 2008 vote tally, which went to Obama with 61.6 percent of the vote. Ramos is among the legion of voters -- new and young -- that the president hoped would come out to support him. 

"I wanted to so I could be the reason why there's a difference, so I don't know: It's just cool to vote," she added.

And, that's what Bugg hopes for each time there is an election -- happy voters who think it's cool to be a part of the process.

"We're ensuring that the great American experience of voting has integrity, accurate and follows the rules," he said.

The ultimate goal: for voters "to walk away and feel proud of the American voting process."

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