Officials say a record turnout is possible both locally and statewide for the November 6 Presidential/Tennessee General Election.
"The November balloting is clearly on the minds of the voters," said DeKalb County Administrator of Elections, Dennis Stanley. "Based on the number of people registering to vote in the last two months, and the comments voters have made, it is obvious they want to make sure they are eligible to vote in November. And state officials are predicting a record
turnout for the state as a whole."
In 2008, over 7,000 votes were cast locally in the Presidential race with 55% of those cast during the early voting period compared to only 42% in 2004 and 31% in 2000. "We hope that trend continues," said Stanley. "Voting early is always a good choice and much more convenient. If a majority of voters wait until election-day, there could be long lines at some of the precincts."
"For the August election, the local election commission voted to have a second day of "afternoon voting" and I expect the commission to do the same for November," Stanley continued. "We want to make it as convenient as possible for the voter and with the projected overall turnout, it would
make sense to vote early."
Early voting begins October 17 and runs through November 1. The exact hours will be announced later.
Data from the last decade also shows older voters come out in larger numbers than young-to-middle age voters and more women than men vote.
In the 2008 presidential election, nearly six out of every 10 voters were over age 50. A further breakdown shows there were 3,911 voters over age 50 cast ballots in November 2008, 2,038 between the ages of 31 to 50, and only 575 age 30 and under.
Regarding gender, the numbers are close, but historically more women cast
votes. In 2008, for example, nearly 400 more women voted than did men.
"All of these numbers are interesting and do provide a picture of who will likely vote in November," Stanley said. "But the real question is 'how many will vote?' All indications are the number will be big, thus making the early voting period even more important this time."