TN early voting turnout on track to exceed 2012

Oct. 26, 2016: More than 730,000 Tennesseans have cast their ballots during the first week of early voting.

More than 750,000 voters have cast their ballot in the Volunteer State during the first week of early voting, with 61,000 votes already cast in Knox County.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said the early voting turnout is impressive. 

"I think you see a lot of people who are ready to get that decision made," Hargett said. "They want to make sure they go in and cast their vote. They don't want to be stuck on Nov. 8 and realize, 'Hey, I've got to work late,' or, 'My kids are sick.'"

The numbers so far are on track to exceed the turnout from 2012's general election.

"I think what you have is two very interesting candidates who have stoked very intense feelings among people," Hargett said. "Some good, some bad, frankly, some people are ready to get that decision made."

Hargett was in East Tennessee Wednesday as part of a 21-county tour he is taking across the state. In light of Republican nominee Donald Trump's repeated claims that the election is "rigged," Hargett said he takes those claims seriously because they can discourage people from voting. 

"I get concerned about that any time regardless of what party you're in talks about the outcome being pre-determined in some way," he said. "I think that discourages people from turning out. What we're seeing though is that narrative's not working." 

Early voting continues through Nov. 3. Election Day is Nov. 8. 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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