Williamson County has highest early voter turnout in Tennessee; early voters exceed complete 2014 turnout


Williamson County has highest early voter turnout in Tennessee; early voters exceed complete 2014 turnout

By MATT BLOIS

Williamson County had the highest early voter turnout of any county in Tennessee for the midterm elections, according to the Tennessee Secretary of State.

The Williamson County Elections Commission reported that more than 6,700 people voted on Thursday, the last day of early voting. Combined with mail in ballots and ballots from nursing homes, that pushed voter turnout in the county to just over 50 percent.

Williamson County also had the biggest increase in the total number of early voters of any county in Tennessee compared with 2014. About 26,400 people voted early in 2014 and about 74,500 have voted early so far. That’s an increase of about 182 percent.

The turnout from early voting alone is already higher than the total turnout for the last midterm election in 2014. Early voting turnout beat total turnout in about three quarters of the precincts in Williamson County.

The Brentwood Library has the highest voter turnout so far this year, with more than 59 percent of registered voters casting a ballot early.

The Chapman’s Retreat Elementary precinct had the lowest turnout for early voting this year at 33 percent. Even there, early voting turnout in 2018 almost matched the total turnout of 35 percent in 2014.

The Ring Soccer Complex had one of the biggest jumps in voter turnout. About 35 percent of voters cast a ballot in the 2014 election, but 45 percent have already voted early in 2018.

In the previous elections this year, early voting accounted for close to 50 percent of the total votes. Early voting counted for about three quarters of all votes in November 2016.

That means total voter turnout for 2018 could be even more impressive. Early voting turnout in 2018 has already surpassed total turnout for midterm elections in 2014, 2010 and 1998.

Williamson County Elections Administrator Chad Gray said the early voting turnout this year looks more like a presidential election than a midterm election.

In the November 2016 presidential election, about 72 percent of voters in Williamson County cast a ballot. In November 2008, about 77 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.    

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