Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings expected to drive voter turnout in presidential election

Could Amy Coney Barrett hearings have an impact on the presidential race?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Confirmation hearings began Monday for U.S. Supreme Court and Rhodes College alumna Amy Coney Barrett.

Absentee voting is already underway in Shelby County, with ballots being sent out last week. The early voting period starts Wednesday, Oct. 14. You can find a link to polling places here.

“There’s never been a Senate confirmation hearing on a Supreme Court nominee or anything close to this near an Election Day,” said WMC Action News 5 political analyst Michael Nelson.

Nelson said the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court is historic because of its timing, with three weeks to go until Nov. 3.

“It’s a very important issue, but it’s not going to affect my vote,” said Joey Kaegi.

But two voters WMC Action News 5′s Kendall Downing talked with in midtown Monday said the hearings wouldn’t weigh on their decision at the polls. That’s because they’ve already determined who they’re voting for in the presidential race.

“It’s already made up,” said Curtis Jackson.

Nelson said the confirmation hearings are less about trying to sway undecided voters and more about increasing turn out across the board.

He said both parties will use the Supreme Court fight as a way to play to their base as the clock ticks down toward Election Day.

“If people are deciding, am I going to go vote or not the idea for Democrats and Republicans is that this issue may push them into actually deciding to go vote,” he said.

How to fill out your Shelby County absentee ballot correctly for November election

A spokesperson for the Shelby County Election Commission said as of this weekend they’ve sent out roughly 19,000 absentee ballots with about 3,000 more to go. They anticipate in the coming days being at a position where they can fulfill absentee ballot requests the day they come in.

Roughly 1,200 completed absentee ballots have already been returned.

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