More than 220,000 Tennesseans have voted early or absentee by mail for the Aug. 2 election – setting a record for a comparable election. Through Wednesday, the total number of people voting early or absentee was 223,281.
For comparison, 206,174 Tennesseans voted during the entire early voting period in August 2008. There were 11,267 people who voted absentee by mail in that election.
Early voting continues through Saturday.
“Early voting numbers for comparable elections hit an all-time high – with three days to spare,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “I commend all of those Tennesseans for exercising their right to vote and I encourage all other eligible voters to either cast ballots early or come to the polls on Election Day.”
With voter turnout statistics, it is important to compare elections with the same races on the ballot. For example, the November presidential election is expected to have substantially higher turnout. Also, August elections held during presidential off-years, which include higher profile races for county mayor and sheriff, tend to have higher turnouts than August county elections during presidential years.
Voters are reminded to bring a state- or federally-issued photo ID to vote. A voter who does not present a state- or federally-issued photo ID at the polls will not be turned away, but will receive a provisional ballot. However, the voter will need to return to the election commission office within two business days after the election and present a state- or federally-issued photo ID in order for the provisional ballot to be counted.
Examples of acceptable forms of ID, whether current or expired, include driver licenses, U.S. passports, Department of Safety photo ID cards, U.S. military photo IDs and other state or federal government photo ID cards. College student IDs are not acceptable.
For more information, please visit www.GoVoteTN.com or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.