Early voting turnout increased dramatically on Friday to 2,810, more than double the 1,205 that turned out for the first five days in the Nashville special mayoral election as the number of polling sites increased from one to eleven, to bring the total votes cast to 4,215 in six days.
With eight more days early voting left, turnout projections remain will behind the 123,000 who turned out for the May 1 transit referendum.
Extrapolating at a rate of 3,000 per day for the next 8 days, total early voting would be about 28,000. Assuming double that on election day May 24, total turnout would be in the range of 55,000 to 60,000, about half of the May 1 transit plan referendum.
“As more satellite voting locations make casting a ballot in the Special Election easier we should expect the numbers of votes to increase dramatically,” Tennessee Star political editor Steve Gill pointed out. “But without the presence of other candidates on the ballot, the participation level in this race will likely be a record low. That will make polling difficult and predictions of which two candidates are most likely to emerge in a runoff even harder.”
“A quick sprint election with low turnout and high voter fatigue will tend to amplify the mistakes candidates make,” Gill said, “particularly when most voters don’t know much about the candidates.”