Elections

Rutherford County prepares for record early voting crowds

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — There could be a historic turnout for this year’s presidential election and early voting starts Wednesday in Tennessee.

In an effort to help manage crowds, the Rutherford County Election Commission added an additional early voting location and extended polling hours.

“I think this one here is going to be fairly busy every day,” Alan Farley with the Election Commission told News 2.

He said it’s taken months of planning but they have nine early voting polling locations ready to roll first thing Wednesday morning.

“Really we’ve been working since April trying to figure out what we can do, what we can’t do, things we can prepare.. such as eliminating as many touch points as possible throughout our process,” he explained. 

To help, voters will where disposable gloves. Signage is also placed throughout the polling locations, encouraging social distancing.

The goal, Farley said is to have as many people vote as quickly and safely as possible.

“It’s a small ballot really so it shouldn’t take that long. I think we will move people along pretty quickly.”

He’s excited to see what this years election will bring, saying it will likely be the biggest voter turnout yet.

“2016 presidential we had our record number of voters right at, just shy of 110,000 and I think with our total number of registered voters now I’m kind of anticipating we will probably vote between 122 and 125,000,” he said.

The polls will open here at the election commission at 7 a.m. and all other locations open at 9 a.m.

The first few days of early election are typically the busiest, so Farley said you may want to consider that if you are trying to avoid a crowd.

Rutherford County is one of three counties in Tennessee where voters don’t have assigned polling locations, Farley said he believes that will also help in speeding the process up.

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