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Early voting first day tops 2016 numbers

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Early voting line Williamson County Administrative Complex

Voters line up in the Williamson County Administrative Complex on the first day of early voting for the November 2020 election.

Wednesday was the first day of early voting, and the Williamson County Administrative Complex started the day with voter lines wrapped around the building.

Between the eight early voting locations, Williamson County topped the last presidential election’s first day of early voting with 5.2% voter turnout.

Nearly 8,500 votes were cast in person Wednesday throughout the county, with the John P. Holt Brentwood Library and county Admin Complex being the most popular voting locations. In the 2016 November election, the first day of early voting brought in about 5,700 votes (3.8% of registered voters).

As of the voter registration deadline on Oct. 5, Williamson County had almost 166,000 registered voters, about 10,000 more than during the midterm elections in November of 2018.

Additionally, absentee-by-mail ballots are far more popular this year than a typical presidential election, likely due to COVID-19. Chad Gray, Williamson County elections administrator, said Monday the election commission had already sent out about 10,000 mail-in ballots (representing about 6% of voters), and as of Wednesday, 5,205 had been mailed back, filled out.

In the last presidential election, only about 2,750 mail-in ballots were cast, which was roughly 1.8% of registered voters.

The total early voting turnout in 2016 was 55.9%.

Early voting runs through Thursday, Oct. 29, and all polling locations are open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays (except for the Admin Complex, which opens an hour earlier) and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Early voting locations include the Williamson County Administrative Complex in Franklin, the Franklin Recreation Complex, the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center in Franklin, the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs Conference Center, the John P. Holt Brentwood Library, the Fairview Recreation Center, Sunset Hills Baptist Church in Brentwood and the Longview Recreation Center in Spring Hill.

A state- or federal-issued photo ID is required to vote.

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