PHOTO: Information Technology Support Specialist Wendell White and Williamson County Election Administrator Chad Gray prepare for an election in January of 2018 at the John P. Holt Brentwood Library
By BROOKE WANSER
In the early voting period preceding this year’s primary election, nearly 14 percent of Williamson County residents voted, compared with 2014’s less than 9 percent.
The prompt for higher turnout than in the past may lie in the six candidates running for governor, plus seven candidates for District 61 of the Tennessee House, and many contested county commission races.
“We were almost double what it was four years ago, and I think that’s very much a positive, and maybe more than we anticipated” said the Williamson County Administrator of Elections Chad Gray.
As to the voter turnout for the primary’s election day, Gray said it was difficult to venture a guess.
“If it’s double the early voting, that would be remarkable turnout,” he said, “but I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not.”
The early voting precinct with the most voters casting ballots in the Democratic primary was found at the Robert Ring Indoor Soccer Complex in Franklin, with nearly 38 percent of the 467 who voted.
By contrast, the most Republican precinct with a significant turnout was at Walnut Grove Elementary in the Grassland community, with nearly 82 percent of the 337 who turned out voting Republican.
College Grove had 93 percent Republican votes, but only 74 total voters.
Early voting results are in for Williamson County. Nearly 14% of those registered voted early, as compared to under 9% in the same voting period in 2014. August 2, here we come #TNelection pic.twitter.com/picFvFBYpz
— Brooke Wanser (@Bwanser_writes) July 28, 2018
In the seven-way race for retiring Rep. Charles Sargent’s seat in District 61, 5,700 Republicans voted while 2,125 Democrats cast a ballot. There are 48,377 registered voters in that district.
The lone Democrat in the race is Rebecca Purington, a former defense industry veteran.
On the Republican side, county commissioners Jeff Ford and Bobby Hullett are running against attorney Gino Bulso, Republican party state committeewoman Rebecca Burke. businessman Brandon Ogles, and physician Terrence Smith.
Early voting turnout by the numbers
2018 total voters: 20,844
2018 percentage of voters: 13.9 percent
2018 Republican votes: 14,861
2018 Democratic votes: 5,953
2014 total voters: 11,757
2014 percentage of voters: 8.6 percent
2014 Republican votes: 10,343
2014 Democratic votes: 1,323
Election day is Thursday, August 2. Vote at your normal polling place, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information on voting, visit the Williamson County Election Commission’s web page, here.