DeKalb County voters are showing up in droves to vote early in the 2012 presidential election.
More than 30,754 DeKalb voters cast their ballots in the first six days of early voting, which began on Oct. 15 in Georgia. Only 9,219 ballots were cast in the first six days of early voting in 2008. A total of 226,400 people voted early in 2008.
At the DeKalb County elections office in Decatur voters were streaming in and out of the building on Oct. 17 to beat the expected crowds on Nov. 6. Vanessa Williams of Decatur said avoiding the long lines on Election Day was one of the reasons she voted early.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for me to do it early because I really don’t know how it will be with the lines [on Election Day],” she said. “I just think early voting is a good thing.”
Angela Price of Lithonia took her opportunity to vote on her day off from work.
“I wanted to make sure that I was off and I got my vote in to make sure my vote was counted,” she said.
Although early voting numbers are high this year, DeKalb County election officials said it’s hard to compare this year’s numbers to the 2008 presidential election.
“In 2008 we had six weeks of early voting and this year we only have three weeks,” said Maxine Daniels, voter registration and elections director.
In May 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 92, which shortened the period for early voting in person from 45 days to 21 days.
Voters will have an opportunity to vote at three locations. In addition to the elections office on Memorial Drive, voters can also vote at the Community Achievement Center on Flat Shoals Parkway in Decatur and at the Tucker Recreation Center.
The voting process is also going a little faster this year because of the larger number of voting machines, Daniels said.
“We have double capacity at the elections office,” Daniels said. “We’ve got 50 machines in one location and 30 machines in another location for disabled voters.”
Daniels also said voting is going faster because the ballot is simpler.
“There are fewer referendums on this election ballot,” she said.
For more information on early voting, call (404) 298-4020 or visit www.web.co.dekalb.ga.us/voter.