Early voting numbers set record, Shelby County Election Commission says

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Numbers continue to climb at the polls as we get closer to the end of early voting. The Shelby County Election Commission says this year, they’ve had the largest turnout of voters recorded in more than 20 years.

The best day for voter turnout so far was Friday, October 16. Almost 32,000 people came out to cast their ballot that day.

“Almost 100,000 people came out in the first three days, so we’re just over the moon about it,” said Shelby County Election Commission Spokeswoman Suzanne Thompson.

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The numbers show 252,000 people cast early ballots through Saturday, October 26. Absentee ballots are also setting records. More than 20,000 people have mailed in their ballots.

“We weren’t expecting quite so many," said Thompson. "We were expecting that total on Election Day. We’ve just crushed the records for early voting from back before 2000. Nobody’s been able to look at the numbers before 2000 because we’ve been so busy.”

The commissions said the likelihood is for the numbers not to be as high toward the end of early voting and on Election Day because so many people have cast their ballots. Thompson said so far, it’s been an election turnout for the history books.

“This is what election representatives live for. We want everyone to vote, and we’re so happy. We’re hoping we’ll have a big crowd on Election Day, but since people are voting early they won’t have to stand in line quite as long,” said Thompson.

Early voting in Tennessee ends Thursday. Tuesday is the last day to request an absentee ballot in the state.

In Arkansas, early voting runs through Monday.