Tennessee Early Voting Gets Underway, Runs Through Nov. 3

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Posted at 6:10 AM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 20:22:13-04

Tennessee's early voting period has gotten underway and runs through November 3.

On the first day of early voting in Davidson County, election officials said 12,303 voters turned out. The highest number of voters was seen at the Edmondson Pike location, followed by the Hermitage Library and Madison.

For a comparison, the first day of early voting in Davidson County for the 2012 presidential election brought out 10,262 voters.

This year's state total for the first day had not yet been released.

Tennessee has required voters to present government-issued IDs at polling places since 2012. The law was upheld following a legal challenge later that year.

In that case, the state Court of Appeals also found that an ID issued by public libraries was sufficient to vote. But state lawmakers returned the next year and banned library IDs from being accepted at polling places. Student IDs also don't meet state standards.

There are 12 voting locations across Davidson County and voters can go to any of them. 

“If you have a family member or a friend you want to vote with and they live in a different part of town it's okay because during early voting you can go in any location,” said Nancy DeKalb, with the Davidson County Election Commission.

Davidson County is also anticipating about 1,500 poll officials by Election Day, with many of those working early on for early voting. 

Depending on their position, some are still going through training - which started after Labor Day and will go through before the end of early voting. 

About 59 percent of voters cast early or absentee ballots in the last presidential election in 2012. That was down by 1 percentage point from the 2008 presidential election. Early and absentee ballots made up 38 percent of the vote in 2000 and 47 percent in 2004.