You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Early voting off to a roaring start in Gwinnett


Deno Stephens is a character. 

The 65-year-old cop and Marine veteran gave a reporter her "phone number" Monday morning as she waited in line at the Gwinnett County elections office. She boasted about her flowing blonde locks and sinewy 5-foot-6 frame (she has neither), and took input from friends before describing her "measurements" in further detail.

Then she got serious. 

Susan B. Anthony was beaten and bloodied for her right, as a woman, to vote, Stephens said. And the "current mayhem" in presidential politics drove her to show up Monday, Georgia's first day of early voting.

"It's time for a female," the Snellville resident said, "and Trump's a damn bully."

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

By the time Gwinnett County's Lawrenceville elections office opened for voting at 8 a.m. Monday, well over 100 people had joined the queue outside. By 8:30 a.m., the crowd had eclipsed 400, elections director Lynn Ledford estimated.

The quiet, murmuring mass of soon-to-be voters snaked deep into the parking lot.

"We were expecting a crowd," Ledford said, "but we were not expecting this."

While there are also a handful of high-interest local races on the ballot, including Gov. Nathan Deal's Opportunity School District and two Gwinnett County commission seats, folks like Stephens showed up to go ahead and cast their vote in the contentious presidential race pitting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump.

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

 

Trump supporter Raymond Miller, a Lawrenceville resident, said he'd made his mind up so there was no point in waiting.

When asked why he chose Trump, Miller said, "the values that the Republicans actually stand for, conservatism, and making our country great again, and not giving everything away."

Many voters asked Monday morning, however, balked at revealing their presidential choices and said they had just hoped to avoid the lines on Nov. 8 — a mission that ended up being somewhat ill-fated.

Buddy Brownlee of Grayson and Ed Palisoc of Norcross showed up around 7:30 a.m. Monday. An hour later, they were still waiting.

"I just wanted to get it over with because I was going out of town," Brownlee said. "I'm very surprised [by the crowd]."

Said Palisoc: "It's nice to see everyone pretty congenial too. I guess that's the reality of what's going on — not everyone's overly contentious like it seems."

RELATED: 7 things to know about Gov. Nathan Deal's Opportunity School District

RELATED: Georgia voters could decide to alter the state’s constitution this fall

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.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Brooks County nightmare: ‘Looked like a bomb went off in that house’
Brooks County nightmare: ‘Looked like a bomb went off in that house’

BARNEY — When the winds came for this small southern Georgia farming town, some huddled in hallways, some in bath tubs. Betty Lee Newsome, 82, and husband Jessie Newsome, 67, still lay in bed. But it wouldn’t have mattered if they’d taken cover. A suspected tornado plucked their single-wide trailer from its cinder blocks and tossed...
Falcons fans overcome familiar dread, celebrate return to relevance
Falcons fans overcome familiar dread, celebrate return to relevance

In most cities, when the home team leads 24-0 halftime, fans start celebrating. Sunday in Atlanta, many were still holding their collective breath, remembering 10 yards short. Eugene Robinson’s solicitation. Jim Leyritz’s home run. And Drew Pearson’s catch. Long conditioned to expect the worst, the Falcons Sunday reminded Atlantans...
Georgia ranks fifth nationally with nearly 400,000 mobile homes
Georgia ranks fifth nationally with nearly 400,000 mobile homes

The National Weather Service has some simple and urgent advice for mobile homes residents when tornadoes are on the way: Get out and go to the nearest sturdy building or storm shelter. “We tell people that are in mobile homes or trailers to find somewhere else to be because those are the worst places you could possibly be,” said David Nadler...
Georgia ranks fifth for mobile homes with nearly 400,000
Georgia ranks fifth for mobile homes with nearly 400,000

The National Weather Service has some simple and urgent advice for mobile homes residents when tornadoes are on the way: Get out and go to the nearest sturdy building or storm shelter. “We tell people that are in mobile homes or trailers to find somewhere else to be because those are the worst places you could possibly be,” said David Nadler...
New Birth holds first Sunday service since death of Bishop Eddie Long
New Birth holds first Sunday service since death of Bishop Eddie Long

Bishop Gary Oliver told a crowded New Birth Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday that Bishop Eddie Long’s legacy will live on and urged the congregation to “stay home” at New Birth. “Just because our leader died doesn’t mean we died,” Bishop Gary Oliver, one of Long’s “spiritual sons” and pastor...
More Stories