BY SABRINA BATES
WEAKLEY COUNTY (October 19) – Weakley County is boasting a record turnout of votes cast within five days of the early-voting period for the November 3, 2020, general election.
As of Monday, October 19, 4,613 votes have already been cast for the upcoming election. The early-voting period began Wednesday, October 14, 2020, in Tennessee. The total ballots cast are a combination of votes at both early-voting polling locations in the county – Weakley County Election Commission office in Dresden and the Martin City Masonic Lodge in Martin – and by-mail and nursing home votes.
The county recorded 580 by-mail and nursing home ballots by the close of the business day Monday and 4,033 votes in person, as well as four provisional votes.
According to numbers released by Elections Administrator Alex Britt, a breakdown of in-person ballots for the five-day period are:
Wednesday, October 14 – 884;
Thursday, October 15 – 888;
Friday, October 16 – 999;
Saturday, October 17 – 488 and
Monday, October 19 – 774.
Voter turnout for early voting is at 24.1 percent of the total 19,132 registered voters in Weakley County.
In comparison to years’ past for presidential elections, there were 7,381 early votes cast in Weakley County for the November 8, 2016, election with a turn-out percentage of 59.69. Total ballots cast from the county during that election were 12,365 of 18,753 registered voters. Voter turnout that year was at 65.94 percent.
During the November 6, 2012, election, early votes cast were 6,322 of 21,235 registered voters. Total turnout of Weakley County voters was at 59.44 percent, or 12,622 ballots cast.
Weakley Countians have already surpassed the total of 3,181 early votes cast for the August 2020 primary. As of Friday, October 16, 2020, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett announced one of 10 registered voters in the state had already cast a ballot for the upcoming election. Tennesseans are encouraged to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing of six feet from poll officials and other voters.
Municipal candidates for the cities of Gleason, Greenfield, Martin and Sharon are on the November 3 ballot, along with presidential/vice presidential candidates.
The early-voting period continues through October 29, 2020. Registered voters in Weakley County may cast an early vote at the Election Commission office, located at 135 S. Poplar St. in Dresden or the Martin City Masonic Lodge, located at 7900 Hwy. 45S in Martin, Monday through Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Extended hours on October 28 and 29 are from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Voters need to bring a photo ID to the polling locations. Any registered voter in Weakley County may cast an early vote at either location, regardless of city residency within the county.
Visit the election commission online at weakleycountytn.gov/electioncommission or call the office at 731-364-5564 for additional information.