Oct 17 2012
01:15 pm


There were about 50+ people in line when we arrived at the Blount Co. courthouse around 11:45 to vote. A poll worker said it had been like that all morning. He said it was the largest turnout he had ever seen for the first day of early voting. People were moving through quickly. I imagine it's a different story in Knox Co. with all the charter amendments.

R. Neal's picture

Knox Co. first day early vote

Knox Co. first day early vote was 6390, compared to 5900 in 2008.

Average Guy's picture

Tea leaves?

Anybody with a take on the increase?

I would say good for Obama, but fishbobber's comment yesterday in the Hancock post;"'You're the only Democrat I voted for", I heard them say"' has me harkening back to the Republican sweep of 2010.

And while this is stereotyping as one never knows someone else's income by appearance, here goes anyway. I wouldn't peg anyone pictured in that line as a 1%er.

Hopefully, Romney's 47% comment registers more with voters than the notion that a lot of people in that percentage say they "want my country back!"

Self interest vs. perceived self preservation. PBS has an interesting look into the latter; (link...)

fischbobber's picture

At the polls

Based on my unprofessional opinion, it looked to me to be a majority democratic turnout. I base that on eye contact, visits to the canopy and voter candidate interaction. I was at Downtown West in Knox County.

Frankly, and that may be due to the lack of Obama signs, the election had much more of a local flavor than it did national. The excitement level for the presidential election appeared underwhelming to me.

Granted, this was a new experience as I usually just vote and leave, but still, that's what it looked like to me.

There's still a long way to go, and it was just one day, but what I saw, I found optimistic and inspiring. And yes, I'm a Hancock supporter who has lived his whole life in the eighteenth (43 out of 53 years). I found yesterday's turnout surprising and refreshing.

R. Neal's picture

Yes, it's hard to stereotype

Yes, it's hard to stereotype based on appearance, but it seemed like there were probably a lot of Democrats. Seniors, mostly, a few working class people, and one or two disabled vets. One woman the Mrs. talked to in line shops at Earth Fare and only buys organic. You never know, though.

redmondkr's picture

As usual, I got to the North

As usual, I got to the North Knoxville polling place unfashionably early this morning. I ran into an old friend who is a volunteer and also a Y-12 retiree. By the time I left business was picking up pretty well and there was a long line around the corner of the building.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Yes, Kenny, I voted at that location about ten o'clock-ish last Friday and the line extended out the door and around the corner the whole time I was there, too.

Question: Those multiple signs I saw at the Schaad Road location instructing voters to refrain from speaking about candidates while waiting in line, have they always been posted at polling places? I'd never before noticed one, until last Friday?

redmondkr's picture

Here is a large version of a

Here is a large version of a photo from the early voting of 2008 in Ball Camp. There is one such sign. They were everywhere this morning. I suppose you noticed too that it was impossible to legally park in the lot in front of the polls if your vehicle sports a spiffy Obama/Biden bumper sticker such as mine. I had to park next door and walk even though I was there plenty early to get a good spot.

Min's picture

I was denied access to your photos.

I don't know if that's a function of your account, or the Mail Marshal at work.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Okay, so the signs aren't new.

Well, good sense dictates that we should keep the conversation cordial when speaking with strangers in line,

Still, if I had run into you at the polls, for instance, I might have offered a few very quiet comments about candidates while in line.

Hate to think I might have been 'cuffed for it?!

(Speaking of "marshals," Mail Marshall, I can recommend Min as a responsible photo-viewer at your link. Her bark is worse than her bite. :-)

redmondkr's picture

There are restrictions on

There are restrictions on only a dozen or so of my photos at Flickr so that should not be a problem.

redmondkr's picture

KNS ran an article this

KNS ran an article this morning about a complaint that the 6631 Clinton Highway early voting venue I used was very unfriendly for 'dropping off an elderly person'. It is actually possible to drive right up to the curb within ten feet of the door and there was a volunteer there to greet and assist anyone with mobility difficulties.

Of course the driver then had to park a fair distance away but their passenger had only a short distance to travel and the assistant saw to it that each of them was escorted to the head of the line.

CathyMcCaughan's picture

Connie didn't even realize

Connie didn't even realize that she was being interviewed. She was casually making comparisons between some of the locations when the reporter latched on one of her remarks.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Yes, right after I stepped into line, an older gentleman got in line behind me and mentioned that he didn't know whether he would be capable of standing for as long as it appeared it would take him to reach the front of the line.

An election worker overhearing him promptly whisked the gentleman to the very front of the line.

Election workers were also holding open the building's front door for all voters, young and old, and handing out Halloween candy to all the children accompanying their parents and grandparents.

I found the general atmosphere of this polling place to be very friendly and welcoming and its election workers to be highly attuned to every voter's needs, so this complaint is surprising to me.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Thanks, Cathy. I'm glad I didn't comment over at KNS then.

I'm thinking I know her name from somewhere--and if I do know her I certainly don't want to insult her--but I had been wondering if possibly her comment to media was something along the same lines as the comments so many of my suburban neighbors make about driving downtown?

So many out here dismiss public transportation out of hand and instead seem to think that they should be able to drive their 150,000 cars down there simultaneously, then find a parking spot just feet from the door of their destinations?

So they cite "lack of parking" as the reason they don't support downtown's businesses?

But again, it now appears that this isn't necessarily any attitutde Connie harbors--and it's true that I had to park in an adjacent parking lot at Chile's restaurant, ignoring their sign threatening to tow me if I failed to come inside and order something from their menu!

bizgrrl's picture

I sort of stepped into it

I sort of stepped into it yesterday at the Alcoa post office. A man at the counter was talking politics. He said he voted to put Obama out of office. A woman preparing a package went over and gave him a hug. He said the ladies always like him when he says how he voted. I spoke up quietly and said I voted to keep Obama in office. The man then said, "I said ladies." I just responded with ooooooohhhh.

I'm happy to speak up for the best choice for president. Maybe it will give others in Blount County the courage to do the right thing.

Rachel's picture

You didn't step in it. He

You didn't step in it. He did. You should have responded that a gentlemen wouldn't say such things.

Of course, I would have been more likely to say "glad you don't think I'm a lady so you won't be disappointed when I say f--- you." Or at least I would have thought it.

I voted Friday at the south Knoxville location. It was extremely busy and the workers said it had been like that pretty much since early voting started.

I do not share fisch's optimism about the composition of the voters, however.

fischbobber's picture


Once they take hope away from you, what have you got?

Plus, I'm seeing some really weird stuff which leads me to believe that these guys think of themselves as full of pig manure, and they're beginning to worry that the average citizen is soon going to quit buying.

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