Election day voting, so far, is a trinkle.

Through early afternoon, few voters were out but election officials are hopeful it will pick up later as people vote on their way home from work.

Just before noon, only 185 people had cast ballots at the Wesley Chapel Library, where 2,796  are assigned to vote.

Ditto for the Salem Middle School Precinct which has 3,332 voters. At 12;22 p.m.,  only 259 voters had cast ballots.

At noon, Stonecrest City Council member Diane Adoma  had transported 16 voters to and from four precincts at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, and Flat Rock, Stoneview and Murphey Candler elementary schools.

Adoma and the Blue Bus offered free rides to the polls to encourage people to vote. 

Election day voting slow

Diane Adoma

Adoma said she didn’t want lack of transportation to prevent people from voting.

“We’re trying to bring awareness to the importance of every single vote because our turnout is low and we’ve got to do a better job of that,” she said.

Most of the voters she and  longtime Lithonia resident Idonia Hunter assisted on May 22 were in their 40s or older. Some were casting ballots for the first time.

“We had one lady in her f40s who had never voted before because she just didn’t think her vote mattered,” Adoma said. “It was a delight to take her to the polls.”

Hunter, a DeKalb resident of 40 years, says to make a difference you have to get out and vote.

Election day voting slow

Idonia Hunter

She is excited about the prospect of a female governor, and voted early for Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams in hopes of  seeing  the HOPE scholarship expanded.

“I had two kids fortunate enough to benefit from the HOPE scholarship, and now one is a pharmacist and the other is working on a doctorate in education,” Hunter said. “Our children is our future and the governor race is so important because that’s what really runs this state.”

Adoma, who voted on election day, won’t say which box she ticked for governor, but confirmed her support for incumbent DeKalb Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson, as well as for attorney Tunde Akinyele in the race to succeed DeKalb Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey, who is retiring at the end of December.

“I try to look for who can do the best job,” she said. “When I looked at that ballot I saw some two-edged swords, but it’s still important to cast a vote.”

Carl Avant, who said he was paid $100 to hold up a sign for Superior Court Judge candidate Genet Hopewell outside the school  said a lot of the cars pulling in ere not dropping off students.

“I think we need a change in DeKalb,” he said.

Just a few steps away, Glenwood resident Larry McAfee stood holding a sign in support of Johnson retaining her seat on the bench.

 “I voted for Johnson this morning,” McAfee said.

Early was also slow in DeKalb which has   517,759 registered voters.  In the 18 days of advance in-person voting, only 21,545 voters cast ballots in the primaries and non-partisan elections.

The county has 471,449 active voters, defined as people who voted in the last two elections in the county.

Election officials have predicted a 20 percent turnout.

The polls are open until 7 p.m.

Election day voting slow

Carl Avant promotes DeKalb Superior Court Judge candidate Genet Hopewell outside a voting precinct at Salem Middle School in Lithonia on May 22.

Avant, an Atlanta resident, said although he didn’t live in DeKalb he supports Hopewell because the incumbent - Judge Johnson - is “lousy.”

“I think we need a change in DeKalb,” he said.

Just a few steps away, Glenwood resident Larry McAfee stood holding a sign in support of Johnson retaining her seat on the bench.

He too spent 12 hours on the side of Salem Road opposite the entrance to the school, amidst a cluster of campaign signs and other paid sign-holders.

Election day voting slow

Glenwood resident Larry McAfee promotes incumbent DeKalb Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson outside a voting precinct at Salem Middle School in Lithonia on May 22.

“I voted for Johnson this morning,” McAfee said.