MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Day three of early voting is underway in Shelby County. Officials were thinking the numbers would slow down going into the weekend, but the opposite has happened.
Shelby County already broke the record for the first day of early voting. Shelby County election officials thought Wednesday would be the highest totals of the early voting period, but it’s actually gone up every day.
Shelby County residents have submitted more than 82,000 votes across the first three days of early voting, smashing the previous three-day record, and exceeding even the largest of expectations.
According to the elections commission, more than 8,800 people voted before noon Friday. That’s more than 1,500 more than Wednesday’s number from the same time.
“Wow! I’m really people are coming out to vote, but man!” said elections administrator Linda Phillips. “Normally your first day is busy, although not as busy as we have seen. And then it slacks off a little. Nope!”
Shelby County and the Mid-South were part of the nationwide push for voters to hit the polls like never before, and it seems to have worked. Elected officials have been excited that no matter where the chips fall, the voices of the people are being heard.
“I think it’s a great thing! It’s an exercise in democracy,” said Shelby County commissioner Van Turner. “This is what democracy is all about. I just hope the people keep it up, and we have record numbers.”
In Shelby County, there are still 13 days of early voting left, not to mention election day itself on November 3. Officials are pleading with voters to remain diligent and follow through with voting plans if they haven’t made it to the polls already.
“Every vote counts. Keep going to the polls. Keep exercising your right,” Turner said.
No one knows exactly what the rest of the voting period will look like, but the Shelby County Election Commission will be ready for every scenario.
“Traditionally the second week is busier than the first week. So, I just want to make sure we have enough people in place to accommodate whatever happens next week,” Phillips said.
WREG went to various polling places in Shelby County Friday. There were lines at most locations, but they seemed to go at a quick pace, and officials believe no one has had to wait for much longer than an hour since the voting began on Wednesday morning.