11/06/07 — Election turnout

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Election turnout

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on November 6, 2007 1:45 PM

Voting was light across Goldsboro and Wayne County today, as residents went to the polls to choose municipal officials.

Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

The flow of voters was a trickle at 8:15 a.m. in the Greenwood Middle School gym. Chief Poll Judge Vickie Oman said she expected the number of voters to pick up as the day went on.

"It's a little chilly now," she said, adding that the flow is always steady at Greenwood. "The voters here are very consistent, and they always come out and vote -- even when it's raining."

At 8:30 a.m., Chief Poll Judge Ken Woolsey at the Wayne Center said 14 people had voted.

The turnout was "average for a small election, but we always hope for more," he said.

Most polling places saw numbers in teens this morning, and the same was true with Greenleaf Christian Church. Chief Poll Judge Curtis Hinton said that they had 19 voters, "but six of them were us," he said pointing to the poll workers.

Thirteen people had cast ballots at the WAGES building on Royall Avenue by 8:30 a.m., according to Chief Poll Judge Bobby Jones.

Voting was slightly heavier at the Public Library on Ash Street and at Goldsboro Friends Church.

Chief Poll Judge Judy Hallow at the library said that three people were waiting at the door when the opened the polls at 6:30 a.m.

"We have better numbers than we've had in years past," she said. "It has been very steady."

Poll officials at the library said they expected 200 to 300 people to vote today.

Goldsboro Friends Church Chief Poll Judge Johnice Bunch said that the voting was slow but steady. The poll workers at the church gave token gifts to the first and seventh voters to come into the polling place. They were planning to continue with numbers 57th, 77th and 107th. And if the turnout was good enough, they planned to start all over again at No. 1.

The gift was a set of four American flag napkin rings.

Ms. Bunch said this is the first election in which poll workers have given away gifts.

"We want to keep our precinct inspired," said Ms. Bunch, who has been working the polls 15 years. "They say you've got to love it to do it. I've been in it enough years to where you want to scream, 'Don't you get it? Come and vote.' "

Voting outside Goldsboro also was light early today.

At Fremont United Methodist Church, fewer than 20 people had cast ballots as of 8 a.m., said Chief Poll Judge Alberta Reid Coley.

In Mount Olive, about 50 people had voted at the town's Civic Center, one of two polling places there, said Chief Poll Judge Christine Jones at about the same time.

Both towns are choosing a new mayor and several members of their governing councils. Voters were also choosing leaders for the Walnut Creek Village Council, the Seven Springs Town Board, The Eureka Town Board and several sanitary districts.

Wayne County Board of Elections Interim Director Erin Burridge said that voting was on track.

"No problems so far," she said.