First day of early voting yields low turnout compared to 2016

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Franklin Early Voting

Early voting for the Republican and Democratic presidential preference primary and Williamson County Republican primary elections starts Feb. 12. 

Just a month and a half into 2020, the polls are already open in Tennessee for the presidential primary election, and Williamson County voter turnout is lower so far than the 2016 election.

The polls opened for early voting Wednesday, Feb. 12, and the Williamson County Election Commission recorded 523 votes total, including in-person votes, absentee ballots and nursing home votes. This number amounts to 0.32% of registered voters. The in-person votes amounted to 0.22% of voters, lower than the 2016 early voting day one turnout of 0.26%.

However, though the percentage of voters has dipped, the numbers are higher due to the increase in registered voters in the county, as 0.26% in 2016 amounted to only 494 votes.

Additionally, Wednesday’s votes show a higher percentage of Democratic voters than the first day of early voting in 2016. The first day of early voting in the last presidential election broke down as 72.5% Republican and 27.5% Democrat, whereas Wednesday yielded a 52.8% and 47.2% split, respectively.

After familiarizing themselves with the issues, voters should be prepared to show their ID or voter registration prior to casting their vote. Voters will then choose a party. Those voting Republican will vote for a presidential candidate and 14 delegates. Those voting Democrat will vote only for a presidential candidate.

The polls will remain open at the election commission office in the Williamson County Administrative Complex through Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays barring Monday, Feb. 17 when offices will be closed for Presidents’ Day.

Additional voting sites will be held at the Fairview Recreation Center, Longview Recreation Center and Nolensville Recreation Center weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 through Tuesday, Feb. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 22 from 8 a.m. to noon.

For more information, visit williamsonvotes.net or call the election commission office at 615-790-5711.

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