NASHVILLE, Tennessee–Only 5,810 votes have been cast after eight days of early voting in the May 24 Nashville special mayoral election. With just six more days of early voting, the total early vote count is on a trajectory to come in at less than 25,000.
If early voting for the final six days of the early voting period, which ends May 19, averages 3,000 per day–a single day total that has yet to be reached in this election– the number of ballots cast in Nashville/Davidson County during the early voting period will be about 23,800. If that daily average is 2,300–the average for the most recent two days–the number of total ballots cast during the early voting period will be about 19,600.
In most recent Nashville/Davidson County elections, voting on election day has been just slightly higher than during the early voting period. This suggests that total votes cast in the May 24 Nashville special mayoral election will be about 55,000, which is less than half of the 123,000 cast in the May 1 transit plan referendum in which Nashvillians rejected the $9 billion plan introduced by disgraced former Mayor Megan Barry and supported by Acting Mayor David Briley by a resounding margin of 64 percent to 36 percent.
However, total turnout could be as low as 45,000 if early voting totals do not exceed 20,000.
The Davidson County Election Commission provided The Tennessee Star with a breakdown of early voting so far by poll location and date:EV Daily Report-May 24, 2018 Mayor & Dist 1 (1)
During the first six days of early voting, only one polling location, the Howard Avenue Office Building, was open.
On Friday and Saturday, the most recent two days of early voting, an additional ten polling locations were open.
A total of 2,810 votes were cast on Friday, but that number dropped significantly on Saturday to 1,799.
Though these eleven early voting polling locations will be closed today, Sunday, they will all remain open for six consecutive days beginning Monday, May 14 and continuing to Saturday, May 19.
On Friday and Saturday, the Green Hills Library was the busiest early voting location, with 853 votes cast, followed by Bellevue Library, where 635 votes were cast.
Bordeaux Library, the early voting location for the only contested Metro Council seat on the ballot–District 1–saw 372 early voters combined on Friday and Saturday.
The Tennessee Star spoke with three volunteers outside the Bordeaux Library on Saturday afternoon to ask them about the turnout they had seen throughout the day. Two of the volunteers were there supporting Gwen Brown-Felder, a candidate for the Nashville Metro Council District 1 seat, and one of the volunteers was there supporting Carol Swain for mayor.
You can watch that conversation here: