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Voter turnout breaks record

Sinclaire Sparkman • Nov 8, 2016 at 11:21 PM

Voters in Wilson County came out in record numbers for the 2016 election.

Early voting numbers showed a 33-percent increase from the last presidential election in 2012 with 41,153 early votes cast in Wilson County.

On Tuesday, 14,993 Wilson County citizens voted in the election, making the total count 57,347 with 1,201 absentee ballots included. In the 2012 presidential election, 51,780 people voted in the election.

Statewide, more than 1.6 million votes were cast during early voting. That turnout easily beat the state’s record set during the 2008 presidential election, when about 1.5 million votes were cast. 

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that at least 46.27 million Americans cast their vote early this year, more than the 2012 election.

A glitch in the county’s new voting system caused minor delays at the polls Tuesday morning, according to Wilson Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren.

The new voting system requires a paper ballot be inserted into an electronic machine where voters make their selections. The paper ballot is then printed with the choices and scanned into another machine.

Some voters were confused with the new system, causing poll workers to take over the final step of the Wilson County voting process.

“The poll workers had training on this, but it wasn’t extensive,” Warren said. “It caused us to have to call all of the polling places this morning and explain what to do. Once we did that, everything has since run smoothly.”

Warren said the issue only caused a few seconds delay with each voter Tuesday.

In 2012 there were 75,824 people registered to vote in Wilson County. On Tuesday, 79,165 people were registered to vote. 

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