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Voter turnout predicted to break records; Bredesen, Blackburn face off one last time

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Election Day voting has not lost steam, according to some Williamson County poll workers.

Polls are open until 7 p.m. 

Chad Gray, administrator of elections, said according to current numbers as of press time, 20,000 ballots have been cast today.

“I suspected that we would have between 62 percent and 65 percent turnout,” Gray said, which mirrors a presidential election turnout rate like the one in 2008 rather than a midterm election.

At 7 a.m. lines had already formed at multiple precincts in Williamson County – an early morning rush before constituents dashed to work.

At the Westhaven Precinct according to Sarah Webster, poll official, the line snaked down the stairs at the Westhaven Clubhouse and out the door onto the picturesque porch with hanging plants and rocking chairs. Westhaven is one of Williamson County’s largest polling locations.

Webster predicts that the precinct will see a record number of voters today.

Bredesen casts his vote, Blackburn rallies 

Meanwhile, Gov. Phil Bredesen, candidate for U.S. Senate, facing U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R), voted at approximately 10 a.m. at his home polling location, Hillsboro Presbyterian Church, in Nashville.

The neighborhood represents established Nashville and Bredesen’s home turf, where he resided as governor for two terms. Many hope the foundation Bredesen built during his time as governor, known for appealing to Republicans and Democrats, creates firm ground for garnering votes.

However, Blackburn’s 16 years of experience in Congress, many believe, has helped her build momentum, especially with the firm backing of President Donald Trump, who accompanied her this week to a rally in Chattanooga.   

As the contentious race with Blackburn, wrought with negative campaign ads and comments like “a vote for Bredesen is a vote for Chuck Schumer,” comes to a close in just a few hours, Bredesen said today he’s feeling positive.

“I think you have a real choice here, not just between a Democrat and a Republican, but two people who have very different views of what this job is about,” Bredesen said.

“We need to start making some compromises and really start getting some things done and stop this hard-nosed partisanship.”

Meanwhile, Blackburn a few weeks ago held a rally in her hometown of Williamson County to kick off early voting, then she cast her vote on the last day of early voting at the Williamson County Administrative Complex just last week.

This week, Blackburn held a rally in Chattanooga, and was introduced by Trump, who has vocally supported the Congressman throughout her candidacy.

At the rally, Blackburn touted the administration's accomplishments in record low unemployment, growing wages, defeating ISIS in Syria, putting a foot down on North Korea, and "Our U.S. Embassy is in Jerusalem where it belongs," she said.

"Tennesseans want a U.S. Senator to do exactly what she says she is going to do when she goes to Washington, D.C.,” Blackburn said.

“If my opponent had his way, Hillary Clinton would be president and not any of these things would be happening.”

The crowd in Chattanooga then began to chant, “Lock her up.”

“If you want to vote ‘no’ to Hillary and her cronies one more time, vote for me,” Blackburn said.

Meanwhile, in state races Brandon Ogles (R) and Rebecca Purington (D) will see the outcome tonight in the race for the House 61st District seat, while incumbent Sen. Jack Johnson (R) and Franklin health care advocate Kristen Grimm (D) oppose each other in the state Senate, 23rd District. 

Bill Lee (R) and Karl Dean (D) challenge each other in the race for governor, both of which have run clean campaigns absent of negative ads, plus numerous cordial appearances in each other's company for various debates and forums across Tennessee. 

To watch election returns live, watch Williamson County Television streamed on You Tube, beginning at 7 p.m. tonight. See blow for voter information. Please bring a photo ID to the polls. 

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