VOL. 131 | NO. 153 | Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Shelby County Early Voting Tops 43,000 With Democratic Majority
By Bill Dries
Early voter turnout in advance of Thursday’s election day in Shelby County was lower than it was for the same election cycle in 2012, but higher than in 2008.
More than 43,000 Shelby County voters cast early ballots in advance of the Thursday election day. Polls are open Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in election day precinct locations.
(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)
Through Saturday, July 30, the last day of the early voting period that began July 15, 43,912 citizens cast early ballots in Shelby County.
The election is topped by state and federal primaries for the Tennessee Legislature and the U.S. Congress. The winners there advance to a November general election dominated by the presidential general election.
In Shelby County, the August ballot also features a countywide race for General Sessions Court Clerk, nonpartisan judicial races and Shelby County Schools board races as well as state appellate court retention races.
The ballot features no statewide primaries for U.S. senator or governor, making it a once-every-12-year election cycle in that regard.
Most of the 43,912 early voters – 24,535 – cast ballots in the Democratic primaries, compared to 19,202 in the Republican primaries and 175 early voters who chose not to vote in either primary, only in the general and nonpartisan local elections.
Until the last few days of the early voting period, Republican and Democratic turnout was roughly evenly split. Democratic turnout surged in the last few days of the voting period after earlier evidence of Republican turnout driven by the 13-candidate Republican primary in the 8th Congressional District.
The early voting turnout, which includes absentee balloting, compares to a turnout of 62,601 in the 2012 edition of the same election cycle and 38,266 early voters in 2008.
The majority of the early voter turnout in those two previous elections was also majority Democrat.
Election day precincts are open Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Our live coverage Thursday of the election returns @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, begins with the early voting results. It will include not only Shelby County returns in the 8th Congressional District Republican primary, but returns district-wide in the contest.