Strong start to early voting

Early voting begins

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - Election Day is still a few weeks away, but Tennessee voters are already heading to the polls. Early voting started Wednesday.

There's no time to waste for some voters.

"I can't wait to get in there and cast my vote!" Janet Lyon told News 5 as she was walking in to the Sullivan County election office.

A long line of people packed the polls in Sullivan County just hours after opening on day one of early voting.

It was a site many weren't expecting to see this soon. "We decided to come and vote early thinking maybe we'd beat the crowd, but we got surprised. There's a lot of people here, but it was worth the wait," said Brenda Worley after she voted on Wednesday.   

We learned of the anticipated average of 60,000 voters for Sullivan County in this election, about half of them are expected to cast a ballot before Election Day. So a steady crowd like the one on Wednesday is typical.

"Turnout is about what we expect it to be. Turnout is obviously heavier for this election than it has in the previous two election held this year," said Jason Booher, Sullivan County's election administrator.

We found out in Sullivan County there are about 90,000 registered voters, and that's about the same as there were during the last presidential election.

The hope is that the next two weeks give everyone a chance to make their vote count. "I wanted to get it over with, get my vote in so I can lay back and rest the rest of the time [and] just watch it on TV," said Steven Foster, and early voter.

Early voter Kenneth Moore told News 5, "I made up my mind a long time ago who I was going to vote for, and I don't see any point in putting it off."

We also checked with Washington County, Tennessee and Greene County on how their turnouts were. Officials told us they had steady streams of voters all day.

Early voting runs through November 1.

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