I went to early vote last Monday, because it would be the only day my husband could vote, since he would be out of town. Wow...what an experience. Didn't know we even have this many people in Gwinnett County! It took us 7.5 hours!! Yes, 7.5 hours!
When we showed up at the George Pierce Park precinct, in Suwanee, around 11AM, the people leaving were saying it took them about 3.5 hours. At the time, that seemed kinda long, but we decided to tough it out, since we didn't have another opportunity. The line formed a U from the front entrance of the building, then around the parking lot. Though it moved slowly, it did move. Finally, as we approached the entrance of the building, it just stalled. And stalled. And stalled. After a very long wait, we finally moved inside. Only to find out the line went all the way around a huge room, and then finally to the "scary" room, as it was called. This room snaked around like a ride at Six Flags, but at least the voting booths were in sight. All 12 of them! We ultimately found out the problem was the three computers used to verify registration were verrrryyy slow and at times were completely down. Did I mention only 12 voting booths?
But something was different this time. As I was casting my vote, I was startled by the young man next to me. When he finished, he yelled and hit the machine. Then, as some people exited the voting room, there were cheers and high fives. I'm just used to the voting room being soooo quiet and reserved.
When it's all said and done, we had to ask ourselves if it was worth it. True, we'd met some nice people in line. One young woman stood in line for 3 hours, but had to leave to go pick up her children. Little did she know, we would end up in line for 4.5 more hours. I sure hope she came back to vote, or plans to. Another voter, a Vietnam vet helicopter pilot, was there with his 22 year old son. He was also a retired policeman and believe me when I say, he had some entertaining and interesting stories.
The Gwinnettians and the Suwanabees stood together, mostly behaved, and witnessed what looks like will be a historical voter turnout. Even my husband surprised me...he was committed to exercise his right to vote, on one of his precious few days off when he is in town.
So, was it worth it? You betcha!! I know this will be a voting experience I'll never forget.
Tuesday voters-Don't forget to take chairs, drinks, snacks and patience! Good Luck!