Record Early Voting Numbers

We've been checking the state division of election website all day and the latest numbers for voting across the state have just come in, showing nearly 24-thousand Tennesseans have already cast their vote.

These high numbers are bringing new voting machines and a couple new voting locations to Knox County.

Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud has more in this Campaign '06 update.

At most times of the day, the lines to vote aren't very long here at the Knox County courthouse.

That's pretty much the case at all early voting locations in the county.

But you wouldn't know it by looking at voter turnout so far.

Administrator of Elections, Greg Mackay says Knox County alone is up to 23-thousand voters in just 9 days.

"We think for the first time in a governors race the majority of people in Knox County that vote are going to vote early."

Mackay estimates that of the 135-thousand expected to vote overall in Knox County this election, 65-thousand of those will head to the polls before November 7th, and that looks to be the trend across the state.

The latest numbers in Tennessee show we're 38-percent higher than this time four years ago.

"I think early voting is just an idea of whose time has come."

There's been so much of a turnout in West Knoxville that 12 new machines were placed in that location Thursday morning.

It could be the hot senate race getting people out early, but Mackay says there is no real way to predict that.

Voters we talked with however, say for them it simply has to do with convenience.

Early voter, Joe Johnson says, "I can walk over from my UT retirement office and get in quickly and not have to wait in a long line and just get it out of the way and get it done."

Either way, election officials say on thing is for sure. If the pace continues, records will be set.

Mackay says Knox County has always led the state in the percentage of people who early vote.


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