Despite longer-than-usual lines, day one of early votes in Knox Co. down from 2016

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The number of votes cast on the first day of early voting in Knox County may be down about 1,000 compared to the 2016 election.

Knox County’s Administrator of Elections estimated the dip, and said some voters may still be experiencing longer lines. The longer lines, he explained, are due to spacing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Many voters we heard from Wednesday at the Downtown West voting location explained why casting their ballots was worth the wait.

Voting is personal for Patricia George.

“I have had diabetes since I was 16 years old. It’s important that I feel I’m going to be covered,” she said. George said the election is so important to her she plans to call everyone she knows to remind them to vote. She even plans to offer transportation.

Joey Wervle is motivated by issues around women’s healthcare, access to affordable healthcare, and environmental issues this election. He stood in line, he estimated, for more than an hour and a half Wednesday; however, he said it was worth the time.

“I look at the turnout in previous election cycles and, regardless of age, I’ve been disappointed in the number of voters in this country, eligible voters, that don’t go to the polls,” Wervle said.

Heather Murray is voting for several reasons, including safety.

“I want my children to be safe in our local community and anywhere else we go. I want to feel like the authorities, on both the local and federal level, have a handle on things,” Murray said. But she also feels the choice in this election is about the American people in general, and ensuring everyone included, rather than divided.

Early voting runs through October 29.

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