Early voting kicks off Wednesday in Shelby County

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Starting Wednesday at 9 a.m., 26 polling places across Shelby County will be open, where early voters can drop in and cast their vote.

During early voting, you can vote at any polling location all you will need is a photo ID. Linda Phillips, administrator of elections, said with so many people excited to come out and vote this election year, she is asking for people to be patient.

“We have a lot of social distancing in place so the lines may look long, but if the people are standing six feet apart there may not be very many people in line,” Phillips said. “I would recommend if they have some time in the next few days, don’t go tomorrow. Tomorrow typically is a very heavy day and because the poll workers haven’t done this for a few months, it takes them a little while to get into the routine.”

Phillips said people should perhaps wait until the weekend to cast their vote because it is usually not as crowded.

“Generally, Saturdays are extremely slow. They’re busy in the morning and taper off in the afternoon. Friday nights are almost always dead everywhere” Phillips said.

Nationally, voter turnout is expected to be high. Earlier this year during Georgia’s primaries and just yesterday as voting started in what’s becoming a battleground state, some voters waited up to 10 hours. Technical glitches were reported at some polling places in the Peach State.

With more people expected to hit the polls, equal access is crucial. 

Phillips said people just have to be patient and know poll workers are doing everything they can to ensure everyone get through the process, stress-free as possible.

“Well we are staffed with as many people as we have, we’ve got all the equipment out we have. I would just say, be patient. This isn’t fast food, it’s really critical,” Phillips said.

Phillips said given it is a presidential election she expects people to wait longer than other elections.

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