Voters wait to cast ballots at the Milton Library on April 18, 2017
Photo: Mitchell Northam/AJC
Photo: Mitchell Northam/AJC

North Fulton voters cast ballots in Ga. 6th District race

A Fulton County school bus driver honked his horn as he drove by the Milton Public Library on Tuesday morning.

Rhoda Mayfield, proudly waving a sign for Jon Ossoff, giggled.

"He gave me a thumbs down," she said. Mayfield just politely waved back.

Mayfield, 68 of Milton, voted a week ago during the early voting period. But on a cloudy April morning, the day of a special election to fill Georgia's seat for the 6th congressional district, Mayfield was at the polls, showing her support for the candidate whom she believes can bring real change.

"I think he can be an instrument in bringing some changes," Mayfield said. "Not by himself, but I think (Ossoff) can somewhat normalize things and bring us all back together. There's a lot of division now and that's not a good thing."

Ossoff is one of 18 candidates in a crowded field vying to fill the seat left vacant by Tom Price’s appointment to President Donald Trump’s cabinet. Mayfield’s candidate, the most well-known Democrat in the race, is hoping to avoid a runoff against a Republican candidate, such as Karen Handel, who got a last-minute endorsement from Trump’s Georgia chair.

Also on the Republican side, former Johns Creek councilman and business executive Bob Gray, former state senators Judson Hill and Dan Moody have climbed above the the low single digits in various polls.

RELATED: Facebook reminds 6th District users to vote today

At 7:30 a.m., Mayfield — who is from New York but has lived in Georgia for 20 years and is an Ossoff precinct captain — was the only sign waver at the Milton Public Library.

Shelley Allen, another Milton resident, cast her vote for Ossoff on Tuesday. After waiting in line for a bit, the 54-year-old physician voted for the candidate who she believes can not only help Georgia, but have a national impact.

"I like (Ossoff's) agenda. I'm not happy with the way things are going on a number of levels with the Republican Party right now," Allen said. "I'm interested to see what the outcome is. Some news outlets see this as sort of a bellwether for the rest of the country to see what the pulse of America is right now."

RELATED: National implications push Georgia special election into spotlight

Voting at the Milton Public Library slowed a bit Tuesday morning. Around 8 a.m., one of its two machines that registered voter cards went down, which led to longer wait times for voters. 

Dave Fiacco weathered the long wait to cast his vote. The 59-year-old declined to say who he voted for, but did clarify that it was for a Republican.

"It was a little difficult, because none of the candidates had a significant track record," Fiacco said. "What I look for in a candidate is someone who aligns with my views along the lines of, what is the responsibility of the federal government and other things important to me."

RELATED: Who are the candidates in Georgia’s 6th District race?

Shortly after Fiacco, another Milton man shuffled out of the polls. He declined to give his name, but the 71-year-old Republican said he voted for "a Christian man" because "that's what our country needs right now."

Mayfield, Ossoff’s precinct manager, won't be anonymous though. She said she plans on staying at the Milton Public Library and waving her sign until at least 7 p.m. when the polls close.

"This is a red state with blue here and there," she said. "But if this man (Ossoff) can pull this off, that is humongous. That cries volumes."

You’ve voted. Now what happens? Watch this video about the next steps:

Once you push the “cast ballot” button on your voting machine, your choices are copied to a memory card inside the machine. Then what? (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)

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