Polls are closed in the historic Macon-Bibb County runoff election. Anyone who was in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
The candidates running to be the first mayor of Macon-Bibb both cast ballots in the election Tuesday morning.
C. Jack Ellis and his wife, Tishangi Bennett, arrived at Hope Academy shortly after 9 a.m. to vote at the Vineville 1 precinct on Madison Street.
"Great day to be an American," Ellis said. This is what it's all about, coming in here to cast this ballot, something that some of us worked so hard to get, died for, fought for and now we have an opportunity to cast this ballot. Obviously it's a great honor to be able to vote for yourself."
Robert Reichert and his wife, Dele, cast their ballots about 30 minutes later at Vineville 6 at Northminister Presbyterian Church on Wimbish Road.
"This is an exciting time for our community. The future starts today," Reichert said. "We're committed to the future of this community."
Poll workers report steady voting through the morning.
Orange Street resident Doug MacMillan Jr. said although his name appeared in the Vineville 1 precinct computer list last month, it did not show up Tuesday morning.
"It's just frustrating. It seems like our records could be better kept and that the poll process could be a little more efficient," MacMillan said while leaving the precinct.
He planned to call the Board of Elections to report the problem, but was able to vote since his name did appear in the paper version of the voting rolls.
"We just had to encode him a card," said Carrie Whitby, poll manager.
Thirteen people were in line when polls opened at the East Macon 4 precinct at Northeast High School.
Incumbent city councilmen Henry Ficklin and Larry Schesinger, who were the top vote-getters in the District 2 seat on the new Macon-Bibb Commission, are also on the ballot in that precinct.
Veteran poll manager Doris Dunn said the turnout was about normal for a November election.
Its good for a runoff, Dunn said. But if it were a presidential election, theyd be out the door.
At Rutland 1 precinct at Mikado Baptist Church in south Bibb County, about 50 people were in line to get their ballots shortly after the polls opened at 7 a.m.
Voter cards popped out of the machine while two men were voting, but the voters did not seem to be upset about having to cast provisional ballots.
Another woman said she had to hold in her card to vote.
By 8 a.m., more than 150 people had voted at the Howard 3 precinct at Mabel White Baptist Church on Bass Road.
At Hutchings Career Center on Riverside Drive, about 80 people had voted by 8:45 a.m. It was taking voters about four minutes to vote, from filling out the requisite paperwork to casting their ballot. The only choice at the precinct was the mayoral vote, since the District 5 commission race was settled in September.
All precincts are open because of the mayoral contest countywide, and commission runoffs are also on the ballot in districts 4 , 6 and 8.
In District 4, Mallory Jones III faces City Councilwoman Beverly Olson.
Councilman Ed Defore is on the ballot with Adah Roberts in District 6.
District 8 pits City Councilmen Charles Jones and Virgil Watkins against each other for a chance to move on to the new government.
Polls will be open until 7 p.m. and everyone in line at that time will be able to vote before polls close.
Photojournalist Woody Marshall contributed to this report. Come back to macon.com for complete up-to-the-minute election returns after the polls close.