40 percent drop in ballots as early voting period ends

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennesseans have cast 40 percent fewer ballots going into the last day of early voting Tuesday compared with the last presidential primary in 2008.

Nearly 153,000 people had voted through Monday, with 79 percent of ballots cast in the hotly contested Republican presidential primary. But without a contested Democratic primary, voting totals are far off the state record set in 2008.

Early voting has been heaviest in Knox County, where more than 11,000 people have voted in the Republican primary, compared with only 878 Democrats. The next highest Republican turnout has occurred in Shelby, Rutherford, Hamilton and Williamson counties.

Four counties -- Perry, Clay, Van Buren and Lake -- have registered fewer than 125 in the Republican primary. In Hancock County, only four Democratic ballots have been cast.


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