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Early voting data shows best times to avoid long lines and polling place crowds

Early voting lines
Posted at 9:09 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 08:43:08-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) β€” At early voting locations across Metro Nashville, people kept busy as socially distant lines snaked around buildings.

"I brought my book!" one voter at the Edmondson Pike Library said.

12,899 people voted early on Wednesday, the first day of early voting in Davidson County. The Bordeaux Library saw the most voters, with 1,329 ballots cast there.

For Metro Council Member Dave Rosenberg, who represents District 35, the long lines weren't a surprise.

"First thing in the morning on the first day, of course there are a lot of enthusiastic people who are ready to get their vote cast," Rosenberg said. After the August primary, Rosenberg used data from the Election Commission to try and figure out when people early voted.

"I took that information and put it through some programs that I wrote and was able to plot the busiest times for people to vote," Rosenberg said.

According to Rosenberg's analysis, the busiest times at polling places were the first day of early voting and the final two days of early voting.

"It really struck me just how busy those last two days are, it was pretty exceptional, the last votes were cast over two hours after the polls closed," Rosenberg said of the August primary.

If you're looking to avoid crowds when you cast your ballot, Rosenberg said there are opportunities.

"Typically the best time to early vote would be first thing in the morning or right before the polls close on one of the days right in the middle of early voting, especially that middle Saturday," Rosenberg said, adding that another slow times at polling places came when it was raining. "When there's a huge downpour and you don't mind getting a little wet on your way inside, that's another good time to go vote."