Cobb voters energized by governor’s race wait 3 hours for early voting

This was the line at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 for folks waiting to vote early in Cobb County.

Credit: Ben Brasch/AJC

Credit: Ben Brasch/AJC

This was the line at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 for folks waiting to vote early in Cobb County.

Democracy was built to be a slow, deliberative process. But that sentiment probably doesn’t mean much to Cobb County residents getting into a three-hour line to vote.

Janine Eveler, head of elections in Cobb, said that was the estimated wait time Wednesday morning to cast a ballot for the midterm election.

Many were there to vote for gubernatorial candidates Democrat Stacey Abrams or Republican Brian Kemp.

The county government center on Whitlock Avenue is Cobb’s sole early voting location until Saturday. And it showed as cars jostled and honked for a stitch of curb to park along.

READNew poll shows razor-thin race for Georgia governor and solid Trump approvals

Eveler said people were lined up at 7 a.m., but the precinct opens at 8 a.m.

She mused that at least they only waited an hour.

Ann Neely got there at 8:15 a.m., only to wait an hour and 45 minutes. The 55-year-old said she put her car in the Dollar Tree parking lot across the busy street. She tried to vote the day before but the estimate was 2½ hours.

Greg Weigandt gave it 30 minutes in line Wednesday before giving up and heading inside to get an absentee ballot, a five-minute process. He’d also come the day before to scope the line.

READCheck in Cobb to see how long you'll wait in early voting lines

He said he prefers to vote in person because “you feel like you’re distant” from the process voting at home.

Weigandt said he knows more polling places will open soon, but he’ll be out of town.

He has lived in Cobb half of his 70 years and planned to vote for Kemp.

Weigandt said he was against what he described as the"socialist agenda" of Abrams, and felt Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was mistreated during his contentious confirmation. The process brought multiple credible sexual assault allegations against the judge, which he denied. Kemp has supported Kavanaugh, and Abrams has opposed him.

“He (Kavanaugh)was found guilty in certain eyes before due process,” said Stacey Brown, who voted for Kemp on Wednesday.

Brown, who waited an hour and 40 minutes to vote, said the way Kavanaugh’s confirmation played out was a factor in her support of Kemp.

READTurnout soars on the first day of early voting in Georgia

“As a mom of a son, I’d be upset if he was treated that way,” she said.

Kathleen Liebman, 70, tried to vote Tuesday and came back Wednesday to cast her ballot for Abrams.

Liebman said she didn’t like Kemp pointing a gun at a young man in one of his television spots.

“I just think Kemp is scary,” she said.

No matter how people voted, Eveler expects more of it. She said this level of excitement isn’t exactly on the presidential level, but it’s higher than the 2014 midterms, where 900 people cast ballots in Cobb the first day of early voting.

This time, county data shows that 1,289 people voted in person in Cobb the first day of early voting on Monday, Oct. 15. Folks waited two hours in line that day at the county's elections office in Marietta.

For an easy look at which precincts are open when, all the times and dates for other early voting locations in Cobb can be found here.

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In-person early voting in Georgia ends Nov. 2.