Jul 20 2006
09:47 am

Through the first five days of early voting, turnout is significantly higher than in the May primary, particularly at Five Points and precincts west:

Location May primary Aug. general
Courthouse 441 600
Five Points 72 173
South Knox 265 424
North-Halls 741 854
Knox Center 537 990
West-Bearden 578 1616
Farragut 376 912
Total 3010 5569

The overall increase is 85%. My guess is that several factors could be at play, including greater interest in the general election v. the primary, a desire to avoid election day lines because of new machines and a long, complicated ballot, heightened awareness of the term limits issue, and/or the new Bob Corker attack ads.

UPDATE: Greg Mackay says he noticed this, too, but will "reserve speculation as to why to the pundits."

Andy Axel's picture

It could also be a bug in

It could also be a bug in the accounting function of those new-fangled Val-U-Touch screens.


"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

Johnny Ringo's picture


Chads! We want chads!

rikki's picture

reporting to batphone

My take on this is that May is a piss-poor baseline for comparison. Anything will look good relative to May 2006. Using past August elections as the standard, turnout so far is below expectation. Over 60,000 voted in August 2002, but through Monday, there have not been 11,000 early votes cast. Early voting has gotten considerably more popular and now normally constitutes over half of the votes cast. It's looking optimistic to expect 25,000 early votes and 50,000 overall.

On the positive side, however, turnout is much stronger in the 4th and 5th districts, where Democrats are running excellent campaigns, and looking at the party history of voters, it looks like the commission races are what is getting them to the polls, not the U.S. Senate primary or State House primary. 

R. Neal's picture

Yes, we hashed this out

Yes, we hashed this out yesterday over at Michael Silence's blog. He finally dug up some numbers from May and Aug. of 2002 showing more like a 170% increase in early voting from the May primary to the Aug. election, as compared to the 89% it is running right now.

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