A total of 326,876 Tennesseans voted early or absentee by mail, easily surpassing the previous high for an August election during a presidential year. The previous record - in August 2008 – was 217,441.
Early voting ended Saturday. The election will be held Thursday.
It is important to compare elections with the same or similar races on the ballot because that can affect turnout. For example, the presidential election in November is expected to have a higher turnout. Also, August elections during non-presidential years tend to have higher turnout because high profile races for county mayor and sheriff are on the ballot then.
“For the last year, our Division of Elections has conducted an unprecedented voter outreach effort,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “This campaign was launched to help educate people about Tennessee’s new photo ID law. Not only have election officials at the state and the county level done a good job in informing people about that law, but they have also raised awareness about this year’s elections. We see that reflected in these record early voting numbers.”
Voters should remember to bring a state- or federally-issued photo ID to the polls with them in order to cast ballots Thursday. 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 local 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.