CRITTENDEN COUNTY, Ark. (WMC) - Early voting started in Arkansas on Monday. In Crittenden County, voters waited in long lines during the morning hours.
“It’s a great privilege to be able to vote,” said Jweline Andrews.
Lines greeted voters at the West Memphis Civic Center Monday morning, as early voting polls opened at 8 a.m. for Arkansas voters. Many inline said they wanted to be here on the first day.
“I can’t wait to vote. I’ve been waiting a long time. I can’t wait to vote,” said Ronnie Reel.
By mid-afternoon lines were moving quickly.
“I expected a bigger line. My wife came and voted in the morning, and the line was back there,” said Charles Rutherford.
The West Memphis Civic Center and the Marion Performing Arts Center were both opened as polling places took account for expected increased voter turnout and adequate social distancing in the age of COVID-19. Typically only one early voting location is open in the county.
“We are averaging over 100 an hour in here,” said William Yen, a poll worker who helps to coordinate Early Voting. “People love to exercise their right to vote.”
Meantime in Memphis, the Shelby County Election Commission reported short lines and lines moving rapidly at almost all 26 early voting polling locations Monday.
The first four days of early voting were record-setting in both Shelby County and the state of Tennessee.
Secretary of State Tre Hargett reports 730,278 Tennesseans cast early voting and absentee ballots last week.
Shelby County leads the state, with 115,631 early and absentee votes cast just five days into the early voting cycle.
Early voting continues in Crittenden County, Arkansas until Nov. 2, the day before the election.
In Shelby County and the rest of Tennessee, the last day of early voting is Oct. 29.
Mississippi does not provide all citizens with an opportunity to vote early. You can vote early or absentee in the state, provided you meet certain criteria. Being older than 65 is an applicable reason.