NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As early voting wraps up for the Aug. 4 elections, the number of ballots cast has been significantly lower than past midterm cycles.
According to the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office, early voting numbers are down more than 25% compared to the 2018 and nearly 20% from 2014. As of Wednesday, July 28, a total of 331,994 Tennesseans who had cast their ballot in the primaries, compared to 442,981 in 2018 and 411,615 in 2014.
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Secretary of State Tre Hargett encouraged Tennesseans to take advantage of the early voting period to avoid long lines on Election Day.
“So far, early voting turnout for the August election is slightly behind the numbers we saw in 2018 and 2014,” he said. “There is a longer ballot for the Aug. 4 election, so it may take additional time to vote. That is why I’m encouraging Tennesseans to take advantage of our state’s generous early voting period now through this Saturday, July 30.”
Tennessee is one of 45 states and the District of Columbia that allows in-person early voting. The state allows early voting to take place for two weeks, ending the weekend before Election Day.
The precise cause of the low turnout is unknown, but one factor may be the size of the ballot this year.
Davidson County has the longest ballot ever recorded this election, according to the Davidson County Administrator of Elections, Jeff Roberts.
He told News 2 this summer the Davidson County ballot includes several primary and general elections, such as the state and federal primaries and the Metro Nashville general election.
“We have retention questions for judges and four charter amendment referendums that will be voted on,” he said.
Roberts, like Hargett, also called for voters to take advantage of the early voting period in order to cut down on Election Day stress.
“If you read front to back including the full text of the charter amendments, you could be 15 minutes,” he said.
Early voting for Davidson County takes place in the Sonny West Conference Room at the Howard Office Building at 700 2nd Ave. S. Voting hours begin daily at 8 a.m. Monday and Friday, the precinct closes at 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m.; and Wednesday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
In addition, there are also neighborhood locations available at:
- Belle Meade City Hall – 4705 Harding Pike
- Bellevue Library – 720 Baugh Road
- Bordeaux Library – 4000 Clarksville Pike
- Casa Azafrán Community Center – 2195 Nolensville Pike
- Edmondson Pike Library – 5501 Edmondson Pike
- Goodlettsville Community Center – 200 Memorial Drive
- Green Hills Library – 3701 Benham Avenue
- Hermitage Library – 3700 James Kay Lane
- Howard Office Building – 700 2nd Avenue South
- Madison Library – 610 Gallatin Pike South
- Southeast Library – 5260 Hickory Hollow Parkway
The last day for early voting is Saturday, July 30.