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