Local resident Steve Floyd volunteers at a snack stand outside the Ashford Park Elementary School polling site in Brookhaven. The handmade sign includes the phone number of a “Georgia Voter Protection Line” run by the Democratic Party of Georgia.

A momentous Election Day arrived in Georgia Jan. 5, with the nation awaiting the outcome of two runoffs that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate, and outrage still boiling as President Trump continues to claim conspiracies caused him to lose in the state on Nov. 3.

North Springs High School senior and poll manager Divine Madubike, left, joins volunteer John O’Connor in the voting site in the gym at the Sandy Springs school.

But life was quieter at local polls, where volunteers showed up as they have for any other election, with the now-familiar pandemic precautions of masks, face shields and frequent wipe-downs of voting machines. Another sign of the times was the snack table — with signs touting a Democratic Party “Voter Protection Line” — at Brookhaven’s Ashford Park Elementary School.

Volunteer Neko Borders, a sophomore at Columbia High School in Candler-McAfee, cleans a voting station at Kingswood Church in Dunwoody as a pandemic safety precaution.

At North Springs High School in Sandy Springs, 16-year-old senior Divine Madubike was serving as election manager of the precinct for the second time. A pandemic-voting veteran, Madubike says his first such position was assistant manager at Woodland Elementary for the 2020 primary.

Signs and poll workers were ready to greet voters at Buckhead’s Chastain Park gym.

Working alongside Madubike was volunteer John O’Connor, a member of the North Springs Class of 1977. “This is my first time back to the school, and I chose this assignment thinking how neat it will be back inside,” said O’Connor. “Divine is a great story. He will graduate a year early, and demonstrates leadership qualities you do not see every day.”

Voters trickle into the polling place at Kingswood Church in Dunwoody.

Voter turnout was light at those polls, as well as sites at Buckhead’s Chastain Park gym and Dunwoody’s Kingswood Church, on the afternoon of Election Day. Absentee and early voting numbers were big.

Voters line up at the polling place at Ashford Park Elementary School in Brookhaven.

Results in the Senate races remained to be determined early on the morning of Jan. 6. The runoffs pitted Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler against Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock, and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff against Republican incumbent David Perdue.

Poll workers assist voters at the gym at North Springs High School in Sandy Springs.

Also on the ballot was a runoff between Democrat Daniel Blackman and Republican incumbent Lauren “Bubba” McDonald for the District 4 Public Service Commission seat, where the commissioner represents north Georgia but is elected by voters statewide.

Voting stations were lined up at Kingswood Church in Dunwoody.

–Photos and reporting by Phil Mosier.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.