The exterior of Metro Nashville/Davidson County’s Howard Avenue Office Building looked more like a ghost town on Thursday than the city’s only open early voting location.
Turnout on the fifth day of early voting in the May 24 special mayoral election tumbled to anemic levels, as only 166 residents of Nashville/Davidson County cast their votes.
The grand total for five full days of early voting–all conducted at only one polling location, the Howard Avenue Office Building–is just 1,205, or barely 240 early votes cast per day.
That early voting turnout is in stark contrast to the more than 3,000 early votes per day that were cast during the early voting period of the May 1 transit plan referendum in which more than 59,000 residents of Nashville/Davidson County early voted, about 64,000 voted on election day, giving a total turnout of a little more than 123,000 voters.
Early voting results are expected to take a significant uptick today, when the number of early voting locations increases from one to eleven.
Early voting begins today at 7:00 am and ends at 7:00 pm at these ten additional locations:
Belle Meade City Hall
Casa Azafran Community Center
Edmonson Pike Library
Goodlettsville Community Center
Green Hills Library
The campaigns of most mayoral candidates will be watching the turnout results from today’s early voting very closely. More early votes are expected to be cast now that there are eleven polling locations, making it much more convenient to go vote.
However, the key question is just how much will turnout increase today and until the end of early voting on May 19.
Should early voting continue to be unusually low, total turnout in the May 24 could be in record low territory–as low as 50,000, some local political analysts tell The Tennessee Star.
If that record low turnout happens, the outcome of the election could be very surprising.