In this photograph from Oct. 15, more than a hundred people wait in line to vote early.
LAWRENCEVILLE — A line of people more than 100 deep wrapped around a voting site on Grayson Highway on Monday afternoon as many waited at least 30 minutes to cast their ballot on the first day they could in person in Georgia.
At the Gwinnett County Board of Registration and Elections, Elections Director Lynn Ledford said more than 800 people had voted by lunch time — more than officials expected for the entire day — and 1,845 people voted by the end of the day on Monday.
Ledford said Tuesday was still busy, but didn’t have quite the heavy turnout of Monday.
Each county in Georgia has at least one early voting location. Voters are required to show one of the required forms of photo identification, such as a driver’s license or a valid U.S. passport.
Early voting runs through Nov. 2, and Oct. 27 will be the only Saturday that voting sites will be open in Gwinnett.
Georgia legislators changed the law before the 2008 presidential election so that anyone could vote early within 45 days of the election without having to state a reason.
Ledford said it’s difficult to compare this presidential election with 2008 because four years ago early voting began 45 days before, while this time it’s 21 days.
“But I can tell you this is the most we’ve ever had on the first day of early voting,” Ledford said on Monday. “Everybody is really excited about it.”
Most people in line at the voting site on Grayson Highway on Monday said they stood in line 30 minutes to 45 minutes, but Ledford said around lunctime the wait time swelled to about an hour and 15 minutes.
“I feel like it’s a very, very key election, and I want to make sure I get out here,” said David Knight of Grayson.
Knight said he prefers early voting because during the 2008 election, the wait time on Election Day at his precinct was more than two hours.
Snellville resident John E. Head, Jr., said this is the second straight election he’s participated in early voting, because Head said it’s quicker.
“I anticipate they will be longer,” Head said of the lines to vote in November. “Because it’s such an important election, because of the economy and jobs.”
Rick Whitlock, who runs a small business, said he came to vote on Monday because it was his only day off.
“I want to make sure I get my vote in,” Whitlock said.
Whitlock also preferred in-person voting.
“I feel like if I’m here I have a better chance of it being counted than in the mail,” Whitlock said.