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Thursday last day to cast early ballot; absentee remains popular way to vote

The Knoxville City Council primary consists of five district seats.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — With absentee ballots still a popular local choice, early voting for this month's Knoxville City Council primary has surpassed turnout compared with the same period four years ago, figures show.

Thursday is the last day to cast an early vote in the city primary. If you live in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 6th Districts, you have a chance to vote for a candidate who will go on to the regular Nov. 2 election.

If you didn't vote early, you still can vote Tuesday in the regular election at your local precinct. Polls will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Credit: Knox County Election Commission
Early voting schedule and locations

Figures as of the close of voting Tuesday showed 4,124 people had cast an early ballot and 737 had cast absentees. The numbers don't include what was cast and received Wednesday.

Four years ago during early voting for the August City Council primary, a total of 3,369 early votes were cast as well as some 480 absentee ballots, according to Knox County Election Commission Administrator Chris Davis.

Credit: Knox County Election Commission

Because of COVID-19 fears and infections, voting rules were relaxed in 2020 to cast an absentee ballot. Those relaxations remain in effect this year, Davis said.

Davis said he'd hoped early voting would be busier for the city race. About 90,000 people are eligible to vote in the election.

This month the Election Commission switched one early voting station -- from the Love Kitchen to the Eternal Life Harvest Center at Five Points next door.

Through Aug. 24, the New Harvest Park early location led with turnout of 1,303. Downtown West, which is often the most popular location, was second with 1,117.

The lowest turnout was at the City County Building downtown with 502.

For the regular election Nov. 2, all city voters will be able to vote in all five council seats up for election.

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