BY SABRINA BATES
WEAKLEY COUNTY (July 30) – Secretary of State Tre Hargett made visits in eight counties Thursday, July 30 to talk with poll officials and encourage voters to take advantage of early voting. Included in his tour was the Martin City Masonic Lodge, a satellite early-voting location that gives Weakley County voters two options to cast an early ballot.
Hargett said early-voting totals show strong numbers across most of the state. He reported although the country is in the midst of a health pandemic, voters are willingly donning masks, keeping their distance and seem overall satisfied with the voting process.
Weakley County Administrator of Elections Alex Britt echoed Hargett’s reports, saying early voters are agreeable with recommendations for masks and social distancing. Britt said the goal is keep voters safe and healthy, while limiting touch points. Machines are sanitized after each use and voters are offered masks and hand sanitizer throughout the process.
With two locations in the county to cast an early ballot for the August 6, 2020, state primary/county general election, numbers show people taking advantage of their options.
As of Thursday, July 30, 2020, voter turn out for Weakley County totals 2,560. Although that number reflects a turnout of 13.97 percent of registered voters in Weakley County, in comparison to the 2016 early-voting turnout, it reflects an increase of 194.9 percent. Only 764 voters cast an early ballot during the August 2016 primary/general election.
In 2012, 670 registered voters cast an early ballot in August. Compared to eight years ago, Weakley County voters already reflect a 236.27 percent increase in early votes.
Of the 2,560 early votes cast in the last 11 days of the early-voting period, Republican ballots total 2,141; Democrat ballots total 404 and 15 voters opted to only cast a ballot in the county general election.
Early voting ends Saturday, August 1, 2020 at noon. Ballots can be cast at the Weakley County Election Commission Office, 135 S. Poplar St., Dresden and the Martin City Masonic Lodge, 7900 Hwy. 45 South, Martin, until 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 31 and from 8:30 a.m. until noon Saturday. Voters must bring a photo ID.