County breaks early voting records

Jake Old • Updated Nov 5, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Early voting ended Thursday, and both Wilson County and the state broke records for voter turnout during this year’s early voting period. 

Wilson County had already surpassed the previous early voting record, set in 2012, after the polls closed Monday. The final total for the county was 42,161 votes cast during early voting, which was Oct. 19 through Nov. 3. There are 79,165 registered voters in the county. 

“We had a great turnout,” said Phillip Warren, administrator of elections in Wilson County. 

“The county has grown significantly since 2008, and even 2012, so to still get more than 50 percent of the registered voters to vote early, that’s a great sign for us.”

Daily voting totals for early voting in Wilson County were 2,944 on Oct. 19, 3,345 on Oct. 20, 3,413 on Oct. 21, 1,749 on Oct. 22, 3,516 on Oct. 24, 2,505 on Oct. 25, 3,140 on Oct. 26, 2,977 on Oct. 27, 3,233 on Oct. 28, 1,934 on Oct. 29, 2,597 on Oct. 31, 2,655 on Nov. 1, 2,802 on Nov. 2, 3,836 on Nov. 3 and 515 absentee ballots, which were submitted Oct. 1-18.

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 more than 1.5 million votes were cast. 

In March, a record 1.24 million Tennesseans voted during the March 1 presidential preference primary. 

“I’m thrilled people are engaged and took advantage of the convenience of early voting,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. 

“Now our attention turns to Election Day to ensure we continue to conduct fair and honest elections across the state.” 

Warren said he expects Election Day to have a significant turnout in Wilson County, as well. The highest voter turnout for Wilson County was the 2012 presidential election, when the final voter count was at 51,780, roughly 68 percent of the total number of registered voters in Wilson County. 

“Oh, we’re going to exceed that,” Warren said. 

On Tuesday, Wilson County residents who choose to vote should remember to bring photo identification. IDs issued by the Tennessee state government such as driver’s licenses or the federal government are accepted, even if they are expired. College IDs are not accepted. 

Polling locations will be set up across the county, and voters can go to the election commission’s website at wilsonelections.com to see where they need to vote. 

The easiest way for voters to find more information about the election is through the GoVoteTN app. Voters can download the free app in the App Store or Google Play to view voter-specific information. 

For questions about voting, what types of IDs are acceptable or the GoVoteTN app, visit GoVoteTN.com. Anyone with concerns about voter fraud should contact the Division of Elections toll free at 877-850-4959. 

For more information about elections in Wilson County, contact the election commission at 615-444-0216 or wilsonelections.com

For live updates from the polls as they happen Tuesday, as well as a look at watch parties from across Wilson County and more, visit lebanondemocrat.com.

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