Early voting so far yields higher number of registered voters, ballots cast, than sluggish 2014 race


Early voting so far yields higher number of registered voters, ballots cast, than sluggish 2014 race

Cherry Jackson, the former mayor of Thompson’s Station, and Jenny Hockett, helped voters cast their ballots for the sales tax referendum in at the Longview Recreation Center on February 1, 2018. // Photo by Matt Blois

By BROOKE WANSER

Williamson County are heading to the polls for early voting in the May 1 county primary.

Since early voting began on Wednesday, April 11, 1,944 ballots had been cast as of April 17, or 1.3 percent of the 147,038 registered voters.

Of the votes, 1,732 voted Republican, while 212 have voted Democrat.

“If we continue at this pace, I believe that we’ll exceed our early voting as ballots cast from four years ago,” said Chad Gray, the county’s administrator of elections. “My anticipation is that we should have 3.5 percent cast by the end of early voting,” he said.

In the 2014 county election, Gray said early voting totals equaled 2.9 percent of registered voters, which he attributed to few contested races, which meant fewer early voting locations.

“There just wasn’t a whole lot of interest,” he said.

In the final week before the voter registration deadline, Gray said 547 signed up to vote, an uptick over 2014’s 342 new registrations in the same time period.

Gray said he thought the widely publicized transit referendum in Davidson County drove registration in Williamson County up this cycle.

“We’ve had people ask about voting on that when they voted early,” he said.

He did note that 88 percent of those registered to vote have lived in the county for five or more years.

Contested races include county mayor, county commission seats in districts 1 through 12, clerk and register of deeds, with the first Democratic primary in the county since 1994.

To read profiles of each county commission candidate by district, click here.

There are six early voting locations, and voters must bring their Tennessee state identification or federally issued identification card to vote.

First time voters who registered online or by mail must show proof of residential address before casting a ballot.

The Williamson County Administrative Complex, located at 1320 West Main Street in Franklin, will be open through April 26 for voting. Weekday hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours beginning on April 23, when the complex will be open until 6 p.m.

On Saturday, April 21, the complex will be open from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

Election day is Tuesday, May 1, at regular polling locations.

Click here to download the full list of voting locations and hours.

About The Author

Brooke Wanser is the associate editor for the Franklin Home Page, and can be reached at brooke.wanser@homepagemediagroup.com. Follow her on Twitter at @BWanser_writes or @FranklinHomepg.

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