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Bulloch votes for Deal; turnout hits 44%
With a steady stream of voters in the background, Gloria Peacock, left, receives her voting card and a smile from poll worker Helen Sparks at Portal City Hall Tuesday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

       Election supervisor Pat Lanier Jones said she was pleased with the voter turnout for Tuesday's mid-term election.
      Earlier in the day, she predicted a 35 percent turnout for Bulloch County and she was "tickled" to be proven wrong. Nearly 44 percent of registered voters in Bulloch County made the trek to the polls to cast their ballots - that's 14,630 of 33,244 registered voters.
      "Everybody had a steady day, stayed busy, I think one precinct said they had two eight-minute breaks all day," Jones said.
      At the Blitch precinct, 61.92 percent of the precincts voters made it to the polls. That was the highest percentage turnout at a Bulloch County precinct. However the most votes were cast at the Kiwanis Fairgrounds Fair precinct, where 2,203 people exercised their right to vote.
      Even with such a good turnout, most voters were able to cast their ballots with out having to spend a lot of time waiting in line. The polls had a steady but not overwhelming stream of people walking in to cast their ballots all day.
       "Everyone was friendly and it didn't take very long to vote," said voter Ashley Baker who carried her 6-month-old infant Tony with her to the Fair precinct.
       "No one has had to wait a real long time so the flow is good," said Joyce Davis, poll manager at Primitive Baptist Church. "Everybody's been real courteous and cooperative, and a lot of them have thanked us for being here for them. We've been pleased and real glad that we haven't had long lines for everyone to wait in."
      Poll official Ann Price at the Fair precinct said she would have liked more voters to hit the polls Tuesday.
      "We don't want people to have to wait out in lines, but we'd like to see more people turn out," said Price.
Price believes it is important for people to exercise their right to vote and voter Brenda Tremble, who cast her ballot at Fair, agreed.
       "It's a right, and it's a right that we must all exercise, because if you don't vote, it's hard for you to complain," said Tremble.
      In the gubernatorial race, Nathan Deal received 8,847 votes or 61.28 percent of Bulloch County's votes, while Roy Barnes garnered 4,973 votes or 34.61 percent of the vote.
      Jones said 12 percent of voters cast their ballots early or used absentee ballots.

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