BY SABRINA BATES
WEAKLEY COUNTY (October 26) – As the end of the early-voting period draws to a close this week, Weakley Countians have already turned out in record numbers to cast their ballots compared to previous years.
As of Monday, October 26, Weakley County Administrator of Elections Alex Britt reported 8,528 Weakley Countians have cast an early ballot. This total includes 672 mail-in and nursing home votes.
There are 19,132 registered voters in Weakley County.
Compared to the November 8, 2016, election, the early-vote total represents nearly 70 percent of overall ballots cast in that election. In November 2016, 12,365 registered voters cast their ballots in Weakley County. Early-vote totals that year were 7,381.
In November 2012, 12,622 ballots were cast in the county. Among those, 6,322 were early votes.
Only 3,181 voters in Weakley County cast early ballots during the August 6, 2020, primary.
Tuesday’s election will determine who will hold the House of Representatives seats for the next two years in District 76 after office-holder Andy Holt announced earlier this year he put a term limit on himself and would not seek re-election to the post he held for the last decade. Voters will also decide the 8th Congressional District seat and the U.S. Senate seat for the State of Tennessee. On a national level, voters are casting ballots for the Presidential-Vice Presidential race.
Each municipality in Weakley County have seats on the ballot, including a contested mayoral race in Gleason and a slate of aldermen candidates in each city. Sharon Mayor Monroe Ary announced he would not seek re-election, which left the seat open on Tuesday’s ballot. Alderman Ali Stalter will be the city’s first female mayor after next week as she is running unopposed for the seat.
Across the state, of the 4.4 million registered voters in Tennessee, 1,653,612 have cast their ballots as of Saturday, October 24, according to information released by the Tennessee Division of Elections. Of those ballots cast, there were 184,528 absentee votes.
Voters in Weakley County have an opportunity to cast an early vote today (Wednesday, October 28) and Thursday, October 29 in two polling locations in the county from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Voters can visit the Weakley County Election Commission office, located at 135 S. Poplar St., in Dresden or the Martin City Masonic Lodge, located at 7900 Hwy. 45 South in Martin to vote early. Voters can be a resident of any city in the county to cast a ballot at either location. Masks and social distancing are encouraged when casting a vote. Voters must bring a photo ID.
Polls open at 8 a.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, and close at 7 p.m. Registered voters must vote at their precinct on Election Day. A list of polling locations in Weakley County is available on Page 3 of today’s edition of The Enterprise and a sample ballot can be found on Page 5 of today’s edition.