by Elspeth Male
elspethm@uga.edu

Voting on Election Day is the soul of the democratic process to some. For others, it’s merely the last chance to have a say before the results are tallied.

Regardless of why they were there, voters lined up outside the Barnett Shoals fire station when the doors opened at 7 a.m. The parking lot was jammed.

Although a record 2.4 million people voted early in Georgia, those in line this morning were not among them.

Amanda Shaver, 28, patiently waited to cast her ballot. The spirit of the election inspired her to choose today to vote. “I just wanted to be a part of the process. I wanted to feel excited about it,” said Shaver. “I wore my patriotic colors today.”

Circumstances outside their control also influenced the voting patterns of some Athens residents.

For Cedric Miller, 38, the logistics of early voting made it nearly impossible. “I attempted to get to early voting, but (couldn’t) due to work hours and the long lines,” said Miller.

He credited the University of Georgia for letting him vote on Election Day. “The university allowed for employees to have time to go out and vote, which is very admirable,” said Miller.

Even something as simple as the flu could change voting patterns. Victoria Brennan, 25, was sick for the past two weeks, but knew she had to make it to the polls today. “This (election) I feel like is really important for every single person to get out and vote.”

While enthusiasm and schedules were the main reason many chose to show up Tuesday, the small peach sticker passed out to voters held extra significance this day.

As each voter finished, a chorus of “Don’t forget your peach!” could be heard from all the poll workers.

Charles Gunn, 24, proudly displayed his sticker on the front pocket of his jacket. “I vote on the regular day. I get my peach and go to work,” said Gunn. “It’s good to show you are a part of the process.”

While citizens each had their own reasons for choosing today to vote, the desire to share their voice held true for all. Said Shaver: “I just felt very strongly this year that I wanted to a part of this election.”