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Almost 1,600 brave long lines on Gwinnett's first day of early voting


Nearly 1,600 Gwinnettians braved hours-long lines to cast their ballots Monday, the first day of in-person early voting in Georgia. 

Gwinnett elections director Lynn Ledford said 1,583 people voted at her office's Lawrenceville's headquarters, the only advanced voting location open in the county until the week prior to the Nov. 8 election.

Asked if Monday's total was higher than usual for a first day, Ledford couldn't say concretely. But anecdotally?

"Based on my experience it is," she said. 

RELATED: Where (and when) to vote early in Gwinnett County

According to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, just 85,000 in-person ballots were cast statewide Monday. 

In Gwinnett, the voters showed up early and often. By the time polls opened at 8 a.m., well over 100 people were waiting outside, and that crowd quickly eclipsed 400. 

By late afternoon, voters were waiting four and five hours to make their voices heard. Good Samaritans were seen passing out water to those on queue.

RELATED: Plenty of contested races in Gwinnett County election

Much of the talk Monday was about the presidential race pitting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump, but Gwinnett County voters have several high-interest local contests on the ballot. Among them are Gov. Nathan Deal's Opportunity School District and the renewal of a 1 percent sales tax for construction projects.

Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash is also being challenged by Democrat Jim Shealey, and Commissioner Tommy Hunter is facing opposition from Democrat Jasper Watkins III.

Several state and federal races have Gwinnett ties as well. View a sample ballot here.

RELATED: What's on the ballot on Nov. 8 in Georgia?

RELATED: Check out The AJC's voters guide

RELATED: How to early vote in Georgia

Early voting continues at the Gwinnett County elections office, located at 455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville, until Nov. 4. Hours are as follows:

• Oct. 17-22: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

• Oct. 24-28: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Oct. 29: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Oct. 31-Nov. 4: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Seven satellite locations for early voting open on Oct. 29 and through the week of Halloween. Find more information about those locations and hours by clicking here.


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