Voting at the Life Church Smyrna Assembly of God in Smyrna on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.
Photo: BOB ANDRES / AJC
Photo: BOB ANDRES / AJC

Smooth Election Day in Cobb, with 40 percent of ballots in beforehand

Most voters in Cobb County had a smooth experience on Election Day.

That may be because nearly 40 percent of the county's registered voter base had cast their votes before polls opened Tuesday.

In all, 161,112 Cobb residents voted ahead of Election Day.

About 40 minutes before the polls closed Tuesday, Cobb elections director Janine Eveler said the county did not have any voting issues throughout the day. When asked to estimate how many people voted, she said: "It has been busy."

Though it will be busy, the election was also historic, especially for Will Norman who cast his first presidential vote for Trump at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in East Cobb.

"I don't like Clinton. They've been in office before and they don't need to be in office again," said the recent Walton High School graduate.

On his first election being such a contentious one: "It added to the thrill of having the power to vote," Norman, 18, said.

Linda Keating voted for Jill Stein at the South Cobb Community Center just before polls closed Tuesday night. The 33-year-old said her vote wasn't in protest, her views best aligned with Stein but didn't elaborate further.

This was Keating's first time voting for a candidate outside the two major parties and she struggled with the decision for months. 

Keating acknowledges that Stein probably won't win. But that's not important. 

"If I'm going to end up with someone I don't like, I may as well pick someone I do," she said.

Get live AJC elections results here

Preston Francis, 27,  was leaning toward voting for the controversial Trump. 

"I really can't get mad at him because he's being honest," said Francis, who details cars in Douglasville. He voted for President Barack Obama twice before, but he wanted something different for his third election.

He likes Trump's promise of more jobs, but Francis has played out how the candidate's tax policy would affect him. 

"It'll be a totally different story when I see the ballot," he said.

Polls open in Cobb County to long lines of voters with many opinions

As it turns out, it was.

After he left the polling place, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he actually voted for Clinton.

"She knows what ... the black community needs, what the Hispanic community needs."

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