VOL. 127 | NO. 41 | Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Early Voting Tops 20K Ballots
By Bill Dries
Early voting for the March 6 presidential primary election day topped 20,000 ballots.
The turnout spiked on the last two days of early voting period that ended Tuesday, Feb. 28.
The total of 21,355 for the period was less than the early voter turnout of more than 30,000 for the 2008 Tennessee presidential primary in Shelby County, which was held in February that year. But it was twice the early voter turnout countywide for the 2004 presidential primary.
Those voting early in the set of Republican primaries topped by the presidential field accounted for 54 percent of the early voter turnout. The 46 percent turnout in the Democratic primary indicates high voter interest in the hotly contested five-way race further down that ballot for General Sessions Court clerk. President Barack Obama is running unopposed in the Tennessee democratic presidential primary.
There are no general election contests on the March 6 ballot.
Early voting ended the same day that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the Michigan and Arizona republican presidential primaries. Those are the last two primaries before the March 6 set of “Super Tuesday” primaries that include Tennessee. Like Michigan, Tennessee is not a winner-take-all state. The state’s delegates to the August GOP convention in Tampa will be apportioned based on vote totals per Congressional district.
Local Romney supporters will hold a rally Thursday evening in East Memphis featuring Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who has endorsed Romney.