Early voting ends in Aug. 6 elections

Early voting ends in Aug. 6 elections

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Saturday is the final day to vote early in the Aug. 6 election.

Linda Phillips, Shelby County's administrator of elections, says more people voted early this year compared to a similar cycle in 2016.

"I don't know what that means for early turnout. It's too soon to tell," said Phillips. "A lot of it depends on how many people come out on election day."

Voters will have several important choices to make in the Aug. 6 elections.

Tennessee counties are holding their general elections. State and federal primaries are also being held.

In the Shelby County general election, voters must decide who will serve as the next general sessions court clerk and several seats are up for grabs on the Shelby County Schools board.

The state and federal ballot includes races for state house and senate, as well as the Republican and Democratic primaries for U.S. Senate.

The Republican primary for U.S. Senate has become a race to watch.

Former ambassador to Japan, Bill Hagerty, once seen as the clear favorite, now finds himself in a competitive race with Dr. Manny Sethi, an orthopedic trauma surgeon.

Hagerty has been endorsed by President Trump and U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn.

Sethi has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky.

No matter who wins, the election is already shaping up to be one for the record books.

More people expected to cast their ballots with absentee ballots this year due to concerns about in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Certainly, there's been a dramatic increase in the request for absentee ballots. Nearly 20,000 came in and all of the ballots have been mailed," said Phillips. "We'll see how many come back."

Thursday was the deadline to request an absentee ballot.

The election commission must receive mail-in ballots by the time polls close on election day for them to count.

"We have received some complaints that people, even people that sent their ballots back by tracking method, they're still stuck somewhere in the post office system," said Phillips. "As I've always said if you want to be absolutely certain your vote counts put on a mask and come to the polls."

Phillips says election officials have implemented several safety measures to make sure voters social distance and the equipment voters come into contact with on election day is sanitized.

For more information on the Aug. 6 election, click here.

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