Cobb hits the polls in special Georgia 6th district race


A Mercedes, a BMW and a Tesla all jockeyed for position at 7:20 a.m. in the parking lot of the Cobb County Government Service Center. It’s Election Day.

Each car carried a voter trying to voice their opinion on who they want to fill Georgia’s 6th Congressional district vacancy left by Tom Price, now serving as health and human services secretary under President Donald Trump.

Not sure what’s going on? Read up: Your guide to the leading candidates in Georgia’s special election

Janine Eveler, Cobb elections director, said at noon that the only issue so far today is voters who are not in the 6th district and can’t vote in the congressional election are showing up at polling places that are closed.

It seems Cobb voters aren’t the only ones confused, as many in metro Atlanta are making the same mistake.

“The message the candidates are putting out there is confusing and they believe that all of Cobb can vote. We are having to take many calls from voters to check their district,” Eveler said.

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The race’s 18-person field would normally leave candidates little elbow room, but some have stood out.

Cobb voter Stephanie DeWitt said Karen Handel was her choice on Tuesday.

Handel is seen as the main Republican contender against north DeKalb County native Jon Ossoff, who as a Democrat, has polled a few digits short of the 50 percent plus one he’d need to avoid a June 20 runoff in the longtime Republican stronghold.

Speaking of DeKalb, here’s how Election Day is looking there this morning.

DeWitt, born and raised in East Cobb, said she didn’t realize the passion surrounding this congressional special election was until it seemed Ossoff campaign signs — funded by his whopping $8.3 million of donations — were everywhere she looked.

“I think this election is more important than I thought,” she said.

Many national analysts agree, considering this a pulse-check on how the nation feels about Trump’s win not 100 days into his presidency. He narrowly lost Cobb while winning Georgia.

Barbara Schick said she voted for Ossoff on Tuesday to do just that: make a statement against a Trump administration she predicted would “bomb a country” in the first six months. It has, in Syria.

The 46-year-old said she hasn’t missed an election since she was 18.

“Women fought hard for the right to vote,” she said.

Kim Swanson, 59, said outside the government center that it was her duty to vote.

She put her support behind Handel in the congressional race and Kay Kirkpatrick to fill — by way of a domino effect — the state Senate seat Judson Hill gave up to run against Handel for Price’s old position.

Here’s everything you need to know about that state Senate race to replace Judson Hill

Swanson, who has lived in the district 19 years after working in politics in Washington, D.C. , said she appreciated their views on taxes.

“The other ones don’t have that name recognition,” she said.

DeWitt, the Cobb native, said she thought she was initially going to vote for Hill because she had heard of him, but she felt Handel was more pragmatic.

Good to know: Can you vote in the 6th district special election?

“For some, she’s establishment, but she’s a conservative woman. And that’s new for this area,”  said the 42-year old Wheeler High alumna.

Handel resigned from her leadership position with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation in 2012 after the organization reversed its decision to cut ties with the abortion rights group Planned Parenthood.

Brittany Mason said Planned Parenthood was one of the things that brought her out to vote Tuesday.

The polls are open in Georgia: Can Jon Ossoff pull off upset win?

The 25-year-old Georgia State University graduate student said Ossoff’s stance on abortion helped seal her vote for him.

She tried to vote early at the location for the last several days, but she said it was too busy.

And it shows; nearly 55,000 people voted ahead of Tuesday.

“There hasn’t been an opportunity for a campaign between a Democrat and a standard Republican,” she said.

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