Voters streamed to the polls Nov. 6 to help choose a president for the country and the first mayor and City Council for the new city of Brookhaven.

Despite cold, rainy weather, nearly 500 people had cast ballots at the polling place in the University Baptist Church in Brookhaven by mid-morning, poll manager Victor Riggen said. “That’s good,” Riggen said.

Shirley Pettigrew fills out voter information while Alex Carrillo, 10, waits. She planned to vote at the University Baptist Church precinct in Brookhaven in the Nov. 6, 2012 election.

At Montgomery Elementary School in Brookhaven, 596 voters had cast ballots by about 10:30 a.m. and the line of people waiting to vote stretched across the cafeteria and down the hall to the front doors. Assistant poll manager Robert Harvey said voters were turning out at a “good pace.”

Riggen predicted overall turnout in his precinct would be “about average” for a presidential election. Nearly 3,000 voters are registered in the precinct, he said, and he expected that after heavy early voting, about 1,500 would come through the precinct doors today.

“When we have a big election like this, they just keep coming,” Riggen said. “There’s no slowpoke time.”

Poll managers in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs also reported relatively high turnouts in their precincts. At All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody, poll manager Joe Thibadeau said 1,061 voters of the 2,431 registered in the precinct had cast their ballots by 4 p.m. “It’s been busy, real busy,” Thibadeau said. “It was really busy from the time we opened until about 2 p.m.”

At the Hammond Park precicnt in Sandy Springs, where about 3,200 are registered, poll manager Fred DeVaughn said 579 voters had cast ballots by mid-afternoon. “That’s a lot,” he said. “I’ve been doing this 30 years and, from my experience, that’s a lot.”

In Brookhaven, District 3 city council candidate Deborah Anthony and Aaron Bawcom, husband of city council candidate Hope Bawcom, stood on Dresden Drive near the University Baptist polling place and waived at drivers passing in the chilly rain. Both held large campaign signs.

Bawcom said he took his campaign post at 6:45 a.m. and planned to stay the day. Passersby honked greetings or waved, he said. “One woman rolled down her window at the intersection and said, ‘That’s hard core,’” he said, grinning.

Poll workers Bradley Ledford, left, and Sheryl Sloane greet voters at the precinct at University Baptist Church in Brookhaven during the election on Nov. 6, 2012.

But several voters said they went to the polls because of the presidential contest, not local ones.

“It’s a very important election. We’ve got a lot on the table,” voter Colman Bryant said. “Cityhood is important, but not as important for me.”

Voter Ken Miller

Standing in the chilly rain outside University Baptist Church, voter Ken Miller said casting a vote for president was his primary interest. “It’s a good day to wear the flag,” he said, turning to show that a large American flag covered the back of his jacket.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.