In Sandy Springs, when candidates say they hit the streets campaigning, they apparently mean it.

Sarah-Anne Voyles, left, daughter of candidate Suzi Voyles, joins three other candidates for Sandy Springs City Council — left to right, Joe Houseman, Brian Eufinger and Chris Burnett — outside the city’s sole election place to appeal to voters in the May 24 special election. Only candidate Larry Young campaigned elsewhere.

On Election Day, three of the five candidates running in the special election for the District 3 City Council seat — Joe Houseman, Brian Eufinger and Chris Burnett — grabbed signs with their names and stood outside the city election’s sole polling place to encourage voters.Fellow candidate Suzi Voyles’ daughter, Sarah-Anne, joined the parade to tout her favorite candidate.Only candidate Larry Young campaigned elsewhere.

The personal touch may have paid off, as city election officials said turnout exceeded their expectations, with nearly 1,600 voters, including early voters, having cast ballots by mid-afternoon on Tuesday. Voters appeared in a steady stream throughout the day, poll workers said. “We thought 500 would be great….,” said City Clerk Michael Casey. “We’re very excited. It’s turning into an exceptional day.

Turnout in other local elections appeared light, however. At the Chastain Park gym in Buckhead, just 262 voters had appeared by mid-afternoon to cast ballots in the Democratic or Republican primaries. At a similar point during the March presidential primary, more than 500 had voted, said poll manager Sonia Perryman.

Marshae Wilson, poll captain at Ridgeview Middle School in Sandy Springs, said 79 people had voted by 10 a.m. Voters getting in and out in less than five minutes. Wilson said she expected by the time the polls closed at 7 p.m., her precinct will have counted some 2,000 voters. “I’ve been doing this for three years and we’re always at about 2,000,” she said.

At Brookhaven Christian Church on Peachtree Road, poll manager Kathy Jaggers said voting “has been very slow for this precinct.” At last count at 2 p.m., the precinct counted just 199 voters, about 100 fewer than usual during similar elections, she said.

Brookhaven voter Juan Jewell stopped said he showed up Tuesday for a simple reason. “A lot of people worked very hard for black people to be able to vote and the least I can do is exercise my right,” he said.

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.