Election Day sees record Knox turnout

The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Knox County.

Tuesday capped what has proved to be a record turnout in Knox County elections, according to county election officials.

At least 190,000 voters cast ballots - and that number could top 200,000 before all votes are counted, according to officials.

Few problems were reported Tuesday. Early voting, which ended last week, saw some 135,000 people cast votes in Knox County. Another 6,000 or so absentee and paper military ballots must be counted as well, a task that's expected to continue until at least midnight Tuesday.

Election Commission board member Bob Bowman said Tuesday was "probably the smoothest we've ever had."

It helped that so many people cast early ballots, he said.

Bowman credited the county's 725 election workers who helped at polling places Tuesday.

"A vast majority of the returns should be in by 10:30, but the absentee and military ballots will take until about midnight"

Tuesday marked the end of a long and contentious road to the White House for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In addition to the presidential race, there are a number of important local and state issues on the ballot across East Tennessee.

In most counties, the polls were open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., except for those in the central time zone, where the polls closed at 7 p.m. You can check with your local election commission to confirm the hours where you live. You will be able to find election results here.

MORE: Am I registered to vote? 

RELATED: Where do I vote?

You must have a valid photo ID to vote in Tennessee. A driver's license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security as well as photo IDs issued by Tennessee state government or the federal government are acceptable even if they are expired. College student IDs are not acceptable. Get more information about what kinds of identification are accepted here.

A huge turnout was expected on election day across the state.

Tennessee has already set a record for early voting, with more than 1.6 million people casting ballots during the early voting period. That's up 6 percent from the previous record set in 2008. In Knox County, 141,111 voted early, up 28 percent.

While the entire country will be watching the presidential race closely, there are races closer to home that we will also be following.

The most hotly contested race in Knox County is for the 13th district state house seat.  Incumbent Republican Eddie Smith and Democrat challenger Gloria Johnson will face off once again in a race that was decided by just a few votes in the 2014 election.

Another big issue we will be watching in several East Tennessee counties are liquor referendums. Voters in 10 East Tennessee counties have alcohol-related ballot measures up for vote in November. Towns in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Grainger, Jefferson, Monroe, Morgan, Roane and Sevier counties will all consider approving expanded alcohol sales in some way.

WBIR and NBC will watch both national and local races closely and bring you the latest information throughout the evening on 10News and WBIR.com. NBC's special election coverage begins at 8 p.m. WBIR will bring you the latest on national and local races on WBIR.com from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. You can also get the latest election results as they come in here.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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