With just one day left of early voting, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero took time Wednesday morning to cast her ballot.
Before she voted, she met with voters at Downtown West and urged them to support the city's pension reform amendment. The city charter amendment asks voters whether the city should start a new pension plan this January. The plan would replace the current one, which Mayor Rogero says is too costly.
Rogero encouraged everyone to vote early and avoid the long lines next Tuesday.
"It's very important that our community go out to vote. We're particularly encouraging early voting. You never know what the weather could be like or how you'll feel on Election Day next week," she said.
Statewide, more than 1,215,000 people have voted early. That's the second highest number in the state's history, just behind the 2008 election.
In Knox County, there's a similar trend with turnout being lower than 2008. Through 12 days, more than 88,000 Knox County residents voted early. That's down nearly five percent from 2008, when almost 93,000 Knox County voters cast their ballots through the first 12 days.
Administrator of Elections Clifford Rogers blamed the cold weather for the drop off. He also said fewer students are voting at the UT location. Turnout is down 50 percent there.
If you'd like to vote early, Thursday is your last chance. Most polling places are open until 8 o'clock Thursday night. Visit the Knox County elections website for a full list of early voting locations.