About 31% of Whitfield’s 55,000 registered voters cast their ballots early, said Mary Hammontree, the county’s registrar. Turnout in Whitfield, she said, was “steady” Tuesday.
“Not like piled up with long lines, but steady,” she said.
Hammontree has a ready answer when asked about accusations of presidential election fraud: “Not here in Whitfield.”
“Now I don’t know about anywhere else,” she said, “but I can tell you about Whitfield.”
John Davis, a retired firefighter from Dalton, showed up to cast his ballot for Perdue and Loeffler at the church just as Poindexter was leaving.
“I just wish to God that the politicians could work together. I am so darn tired of hearing this mudslinging,” he said. “We have left God out of everything. I think he is getting very tired of this, and I don’t know how much longer we are going to stay here on this earth.”
Davis said he believes some votes were “manipulated” in the presidential election.
“Whether there were enough manipulated to have changed the election, I don’t know. And I am not going to make a judgment on that,” he said. “But whatever it is, if Biden is seated, I hope to God he does the right things.”
Moments after Davis arrived, Susan Head showed up at the house of worship to vote for Perdue and Loeffler, saying “things need to change.” She is concerned about the allegations swirling around the November presidential election.
“It may not be for me to say that it was fraudulent. But you kind of worry about that,” said the health care worker, who added the coronavirus pandemic and the economy were on her mind as she voted.
In neighboring Gordon County, it took Joanna Elrod just a few minutes to cast her ballot for Perdue and Loeffler at the Calhoun Recreation Department. The CVS pharmacy worker encountered no lines at the polling site in Gordon, where Trump won 81% of the vote in November.
“I am very pro-life and very pro-gun and pro-family, so I will always vote for whoever I think the best candidate is,” said Elrod, a Trump supporter.
Asked about the election fraud allegations, she said: “I still feel like I need to do my responsibility and vote for who I feel like and who I feel like God wants me to vote for.”
Southwest of Calhoun, turnout was light in the afternoon at the Rome Civic Center. Chaka Johnson and her daughter Chakielle Dennis were in and out of the polling station quickly. Both cast their ballots for Warnock and Ossoff.
“No line. It was quick. It was easy,” said Johnson, a hotel manager who voted for Biden.
Biden, she and her daughter said, won the presidency fair and square.
“We really need change — change for the better,” Johnson said. “Peace, love happiness. And that is what it is all about.”