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VOL. 129 | NO. 147 | Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Suburban Precincts Lead in Early Vote Turnout

By Bill Dries

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Seven of the top 10 precincts for early voter turnout through this past weekend and the first of two weeks of early voting in Shelby County are in the suburbs.

Through Monday, July 28, a total of 43,725 citizens had voted early in Shelby County, which is 8.1 percent of the voters in Shelby County. The highest turnout by day so far since early voting opened July 18 was 7,038 on July 22.

The numbers of those voting in the Democratic and Republican state and federal primary elections continued to be close, with 52.1 percent voting in the Democratic primary and 46.3 percent voting in the Republican primary, a difference of 2,555 more voting Democratic.

Through July 28, a total of 43,725 citizens had voted early in Shelby County, which is 8.1 percent of the voters in the county.

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

No matter which primary voters choose, they still vote in the county general elections and nonpartisan judicial races on the ballot and the primary choice is an indication of how they might vote in the general election races featuring Democratic and Republican nominees from the May county primaries.

The statistics on early voter turnout from the Shelby County Election Commission also include a breakdown of the precincts those voters live in, giving a detailed look beyond the 21 early voting sites voters choose.

By those numbers, the largest turnout by precinct through Saturday, July 26, was the 496 voters living in the Lakeland 1 precinct, which votes on election day at First Baptist Church in Lakeland.

That was followed by 478 early voters who live in Millington 2, which votes on election day at the Millington Civic Center, and 449 early voters in Millington 1, which votes on election day at the Baker Community Center.

The highest Memphis precinct in early voter turnout through Saturday was in 77-01 in Whitehaven, with 405 citizens casting ballots. The election day precinct for 77-01 – the fourth highest turnout by precinct for the county – is Unity Christian Church on McCorkle Road.

Fifth on the list was Germantown 4 with 402, then precinct 80-02 in East Memphis, which votes on election day at Opera Memphis on Wolf River Parkway, followed by Ross 16 with 375 for the precinct that votes at New Growth in Christ Christian Center on East Shelby Drive on election day.

The eighth highest turnout was precinct 57-00 at 362 early voters through Saturday. The election day voting precinct for that area is Second Baptist Church on Walnut Grove Road. It was followed by Germantown 3 at 351 early voters from the precinct that votes on election day at the Germantown Performing Arts Center on Exeter Road and STE00 in Arlington with 341 early voters. The precinct’s election day polling place is Oak Spring Baptist Church on Godwin Road.

As a percentage of the total voters in a precinct, none of the top ten were higher than 14 percent. But the top percentage turnout precinct in the early vote was the 14.2 percent at 44-03, which also votes at Second Baptist Church on Walnut Grove Road. The percentage translates to 153 voters for that precinct.

The difference between percentage of precinct turnout and the actual turnout reflects the varying sizes of the precincts across Shelby County.

Those precincts range from the smallest at 326 voters in 76-06, which votes at Ridgeway High School in East Memphis on election day to the largest at 5,106 voters in Lakeland 01.

Early voting continues through Saturday with election day on Aug. 7.

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