The times they are a-changing: Fulton vote tally over before midnight

2:25 p.m Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 Local
Poll manager Melvin Davis Jr. prepare voting machines in Fulton County. JOHN SPINK /JSPINK@AJC.COM AJC FILE PHOTO

This election, there were no memory cards placed in the wrong baskets. All the results cards went into piles of cards yet-to-be-tallied, and not piles of those that had. And poll workers stuck around to shut down voting precincts, ensuring that no one had to go back out to get memory cards or equipment.

The result? A relatively early end to election night in Fulton County.

VIDEO: Previous coverage of this issue

Fulton County results took a long time to be posted in the November election.

The last unofficial results were posted at 11:34 p.m. — more than two hours earlier than in November, when it took until 1:41 a.m. for all the votes to be totaled. The polls closed at 8 p.m. in both elections.

“Everything went according to plan,” said Richard Barron, the Fulton County director of registration and elections. “I don’t think we could have done it any quicker.”

Fulton County has long had a reputation for slow election results, due both to the size of the county and the human errors that often seem to plague its reporting. Tuesday, a change in process led the first results to be posted about 30 minutes earlier than normal, Barron said. A lack of errors led to a relatively quick finish.

Barron said he made sure poll workers knew they had to stick around to close out machines, and had to get to one of the county’s five check-in centers to deliver their votes within two hours of the polls closing.

“It was a really smooth election,” he said. “If everything goes according to plan, you can get it done.”

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

The AJC's Arielle Kass keeps you updated on the latest happenings in Fulton County government and politics. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in Fulton politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com.

View full experience