Knox County voters take advantage of last early voting weekend

Knox County voters take advantage of last early voting weekend

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The Knox County Election Commission says they've seen record turnout, and they expect to see those numbers continue to climb. The Knox County Election Commission says they've seen record turnout, and they expect to see those numbers continue to climb.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Thousands of Knox County residents hit the polls Saturday, taking advantage of the last weekend of early voting.

The Knox County Election Commission says they've seen record turnout, and they expect to see those numbers continue to climb.

They think the presidential race is what's bringing more people out.

Many voters tell us they just want to avoid the big crowds they anticipate on election day, Nov. 6.

They're making sure their political voices are heard.

"We had 50,000 vote in March. We had 25,000 vote in August. As of last night, we'd already had 65,000 people vote early and that's not including absentee ballots. We've got another two to three thousand of those ballots coming in," said Knox County Administrator of Elections Clifford Rodgers.

The Commission says figures are about 7% higher than they were in the presidential election four years ago.

Knoxville resident Nancy DeCosta marked her ballot Saturday in just a matter of minutes.

"Oh, I would never not vote. I didn't want to have to deal with the crowds on election day. I always like to come early. This is a really convenient place for me and it's usually not real busy," said DeCosta.

With more early voting scheduled for next week, the Knox County Election Commission is urging people to go ahead and check voting off their to-do list.

"We know that lines are going to be long on election day no matter how many people vote early. We also don't know yet what the weather is going to be. People could have last minute emergencies, so if they've got their mind made up, it's a good idea to go ahead and vote early," said Rodgers.

They've had few issues with the new state Photo ID law, which requires all voters to have a valid photo ID in order to cast their ballot.

"Gotta keep in mind, the law went into effect in January. We got through the March election, we got through the August election so most people who vote are aware of it," said Rodgers.

They don't want anyone to not be able to vote.

"My vote may be only one, but I will always have my voice, even if it is just the one vote," said DeCosta.

Early voting continues on Monday, Oct. 29 and runs through Thursday, Nov. 1.

The last day to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, Oct. 30.

There are 10 polling locations open for voting next week, including one on UT's campus for students and faculty.

For a full list of locations and times, visit the Knox County Election Commission's website at http://www.knoxcounty.org/election/.

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