Having a divided country appears to have at least one benefit. It gets people to the polls.
Early voting began Wednesday with people flocking to the polls in Warren County and throughout the state. Locally there were 627 people who voted on Wednesday with a line extending out the door for most of the day.
As a state, a record-breaking 273,325 Tennesseans cast their ballot on the first day of early voting. This is a 91% increase from the first day of early voting in 2016, and a 120% increase over 2012.
“If the rest of early voting goes like today did, there is no doubt that we’re going to set a record in Tennessee,” state Elections Coordinator Mark Goins said Wednesday.
Tennessee has seen a record number of registered voters at 4.4 million, Goins said. Statewide, there has been a strong day-one turnout, he added.
When asked about any voting issues, Goins said he is not aware of any.
“We did have some lines, but those lines were not caused by technical issues,” Goins said. “Those lines were specifically caused because of voter interest.”
The election for U.S. President tops the ballot and Donald Trump is expected to win handily in deep-red Tennessee. Locally, races for McMinnville mayor and McMinnville aldermen are on the ballot.
Early voting continues until Oct. 29. Election Day is Nov. 3.
Early voting hours are Monday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
The voter registration deadline for the election has passed.