Early vote totals from Shelby County were released just before 10 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6, after the vote count was delayed in part by long lines of voters waiting to vote at the 7 p.m. closing of polls.
The delay brought the release of early voting totals in Shelby County just ahead of national projections showing the presidential race has been decided. It is the second consecutive presidential election in which the national direction of the race became apparent before the first vote totals were released by the local election commission.
Watch this website for updates on the total unofficial Shelby County vote count -- early, absentee and election day totals.
The unofficial early vote count shows President Barack Obama carried Shelby County as he did four years ago by not quite a two to one margin over Republican nominee Mitt Romney
Obama 147,097 or 63%
Romney 84,840 or 36.3%
Meanwhile, the state’s 11 electoral votes went to Romney as Romney carried the state.
In the 9th Congressional district race, Democratic incumbent Steve Cohen took the early vote in what amounts to the strongest Republican challenger Cohen has faced since winning the seat in 2006 – former Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn.
Cohen 120,905 or 76.7%
Flinn 34,988 or 22.2%
On the countywide half cent sales tax
Yes 46,944 or 30%
No 109,493 or 69.9%
On the one cent local gas tax within Memphis for public transportation
Yes 50,273 or 36.6%
No 86,857 or 63.3%
In other early vote totals, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Mark Clayton, who was disowned by state party leaders, carried Shelby County with 115,988 or 53 percent of the early vote over 43 percent for Republican incumbent Bob Corker. Corker won statewide in unofficial combined election returns in which vote totals from other parts of the state were largely in by the time the early vote total were released in Shelby County.
The early vote totals also showed Democratic State House incumbents Barbara Cooper and Larry Miller, the only two Tennessee House members in the Shelby County delegation to Nashville with opposition easily beating their challengers.
Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner took 73 percent of the early vote over challenger Tom Allen.
Wanda Chism was leading the five candidate race for a position on the Collierville School Board, the largest field in the contested school board races in the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County. Chism had 36 percent of the early vote compared to 26.3 percent for Margaret Kasperbauer.
The top five vote totals in Lakeland’s early vote for school board were in order Karen Woodward, Laura Harrison, Richard Bryant, Teresa Henry and Kevin Floyd. Lakeland voters vote for the candidates as one field and the top five vote getters claim the five positions on the Lakeland school board.
In Millington, the Lucy annexation question was winning narrowly in the early vote, by seven votes.
The Kerrville annexation lost in the early vote by 76 votes.
Former Mayor Terry Jones carried the early vote in Millington over Kenneth Uselton in the runoff for mayor.