No last-minute rush to the polls in Polk County meant polling places closed on time at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night. 

While officials had worried that the evening would see crowds and long lines at some of Polk's seven polling places, Election Day's smooth and steady start appears to have continued through the close of polls. 

Poll workers were breaking down equipment at precincts and preparing to return to the elections office. Elections officials had already begun processing absentee ballots last week and could begin counting them Tuesday afternoon. 

Check back here or Polk County Standard Journal on Facebook for updates and local results as they become available.

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While voter volumes at Polk County polling places have not resulted in long lines or waits through the first half of Tuesday, the county’s election officials are asking everyone to try and get to the polls as early as possible.

Polk County Elections Coordinator Brande Coggins said while a few technical issues popped up when polls first opened at 7 a.m., the county’s seven precincts have processed voters quickly.

“Every report we’ve had is so far so good, but we are anticipating higher volumes later this afternoon and this evening” Coggins said. “But for the first half of the day everything has been very smooth.”

Polk County had 1,464 voters cast ballots Tuesday as of noon, according to Coggins. She said they are encouraging anyone who has not voted already to try to make it to the polls between 2 and 4 p.m.

The most ballots were cast at the Rockmart precinct with 289 after five hours of the polls being open. Polls are open until 7 p.m. with anyone in line at that time able to vote. 

Some of the lower turnout Tuesday could be related to the record number of early in-person and absentee votes in Polk County leading up to Election Day.

More than 13,500 votes have already been cast in Polk County through in-person early voting and absentee ballots according to the elections office. That’s around 53% of the county’s 25,479 registered voters and nearly as many as the total number of votes cast in the 2016 general election.

With a neck-and-neck presidential election and two U.S. senate seats on the ballot, Georgia has become a key battleground state for Republicans and Democrats.

Locally, five candidates are vying for the Polk County Commission District 2 seat vacated by Jennifer Hulsey midway through her term to run for Georgia House District 16, which she lost to incumbent Trey Kelley in June’s primary.

Check back here or Polk County Standard Journal on Facebook for updates and local results as they become available tonight.

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Polk County voters who ventured out early on Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3, were greeted with short waits and very minimum lines at the polls to go with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark.

Reports from most of the county’s seven precincts were that while a few people braved the cold to get to polling places prior to their 7 a.m. opening the lines were processed quickly and voters were able to cast their ballot in quick fashion.

Polls are open until 7 p.m. with anyone in line at that time able to vote. Anyone who requested and received an absentee ballot in the mail but has not returned it can bring it with them and fill it out at their polling place or sign an affidavit and vote on one of the voting machines.

Traci Hayes and Mark Palm were two of the earliest voters at the Rockmart precinct at the Nathan Dean Community Center. They waited with about five others for the polls to open at 6:40 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Hayes said she works out of town and wanted to vote while she was certain that she could.

“I don’t ever know if I would get back in time to vote after work, and I expect the lines to be the longest this afternoon,” she said. “Maybe not, because so many voted early. It’s going to be a tight race, and I hope they are able to have a decision on who won and not have to put it off.”

Palm said he is usually in line to vote before 7 a.m., but the situation surrounding this year’s general election has him wondering what will happen today.

“I really don’t know. Anything can happen today,” he said. “I hope it’s quick and easy. They look like they are pretty well set up to handle anything.”

More than 13,500 votes have already been cast in Polk County through in-person early voting and absentee ballots according to the elections office. That’s around 53% of the county’s registered voters and nearly as many as the total number of votes cast in the 2016 general election.

With a neck-and-neck presidential election and two U.S. senate seats on the ballot, Georgia has become a key battleground state for Republicans and Democrats.

Locally, five candidates are vying for the Polk County Commission District 2 seat vacated by Jennifer Hulsey midway through her term to run for Georgia House District 16, which she lost to incumbent Trey Kelley in June’s primary.

Linda Liles was appointed by the county commission in March. She is running to complete Hulsey’s four-year term along with Ricky Clark, Christopher Roberson, Glenn Robinson and Jody Bentley Smith.

Kelley faces challenger Lyndsay Arrendale in today’s local state representative race.

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