TN Secretary of State visits Shelby County early voting locations amidst record turnout

Tre Hargett visits early voting locations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Early voting continues in Shelby County and across Tennessee with a turnout that may break records.

Friday, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett visited polling locations around Shelby County.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett visited early voting locations in Shelby County to check and make sure protocols were being followed and that lines to vote were moving quickly.

WMC preview: Tennessee secretary of state visits Shelby County early voting locations

He told WMC Action News 5 that he’s extremely pleased with what he’s seen across Shelby County and Tennessee during this busy early voting period.

According to the Shelby County Election Commission, more than 210,00 people have voted early, already breaking the record for early voting turnout set during the 2008 election.

The State of Tennessee is also on pace to break early voting records.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett visited several polling locations in Shelby County

“Well it’s great to see it, people enthusiastic about sharing their voice and making their voice heard across our state,” Hargett said.

Friday, Hargett visited four different polling locations across Shelby County.

Hargett says he’s visited 77 Tennessee counties during early voting and seen less than 10 people not wearing a mask while voting.

He says poll workers across the state have done a tremendous job following protocols and creating a safe environment for voters.

“That polling place is going to be one of the safest and cleanest places they’re going to go all day,” Hargett said.

The Shelby County Election Commission says there may be a large increase in mail-in ballots this election, which may delay election results for several hours if not longer.

Secretary Hargett is asking for patience on election night.

“Giving a choice between being fast and accurate, we’re going to pick accurate,” Hargett said. “Now I’d like to have both. What I need voters to do is have patience. To understand that if all the votes are not counted by midnight on election night, it’s not something nefarious going on. There’s nothing to that, it’s that we want to make sure that we count the votes right.”

With President Donald Trump raising concerns regarding a potential increase in mail-in ballots, Hargett says the State of Tennessee has solid regulations in place to prevent any attempt at voter fraud, which election experts say is incredibly rare.

“In Tennessee, the voter has to be proactive and make a request for those ballots,” Hargett said. “We don’t allow ballot harvesting here in Tennessee. So in Tennessee with signature verification, no ballot harvesting and how we handle the process, you know I feel good about how we handle that.”

Secretary Hargett says the National Guard is helping the State of Tennessee with cybersecurity for the presidential election.

Hargett says he feels good about the security of polling locations across the state.

This is the last weekend of early voting, with the final day to early vote in Tennessee being Thursday, Oct. 29.

Hargett is encouraging every voter who has not yet voted to make a plan and expect longer lines on that last day of early voting and possibly on election night as well.

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