VOL. 133 | NO. 144 | Friday, July 20, 2018
Early Voting Nears 23,000 Six Days In
By Bill Dries
Early voting turnout totals with all sites open across Shelby County jumped to around 6,000 a day on the first three days all 27 sites were open to citizens in advance of the Aug. 2 election day.
The Tuesday turnout was 6,464. Wednesday’s was 5,863 and Thursday's 6,348, according to figures from the Shelby County Election Commission.
The total number of early voters through Thursday, the sixth day of the 14-day voting period was 22,999.
That compares to 27,450 six days into the voting period for the same election cycle in 2014 and 30,364 in 2010. In 2010 and 2014, there were 21 early voting sites and the Downtown location was open for two days of the voting period before the rest of the locations opened.
Through the first five days of the current 14-day early voting period, 9,586 of the voters chose to vote in the Democratic primary and 6,976 in the Republican primary. The remainder voted in the county general election only. Figures weren't available late Thursday on how many of the sixth day's early voters participated in the Democratic and Republican primaries.
In daily totals for the first five days, Democratic turnout was greater than Republican turnout each day, accounting for 70 percent of the early votes on the first day, July 13, and the third day, July 16. In the first two days the early voting expanded to 27 sites, the gap narrowed with Democratic primary voters accounting for 55 percent of the Tuesday, July 17, totals and just over half of the Wednesday, July 18, totals.
The election commission had some problems with its voter registration system. Elections administrator Linda Phillips said the “aging” and “ancient” system that the commission recently moved to replace failed to record the precinct 307 voters live in across three early voting sites delaying a current participating voter list. The commission is using its new voter registration system parallel to the “system of record,” Phillips said. So the information was not lost and was recovered Thursday.