Shelby County voters hurry to cast ballots on last day of early voting

Shelby County voters hurry to cast ballots on last day of early voting

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Thursday marked the last day of the early voting period for the 2020 presidential election in Shelby County, with polling places closing at 8 p.m.

Most polling places had no lines during the day, but there were lines Thursday evening at Anointed Temple of Praise on Riverdale Road, where voters waited in the rain to cast ballots. One voter said the wait wasn’t too bad at 20 minutes.

“I told her I’m used to long lines,” Carrie Yancey said.

Yancey always votes on Election Day, but this year her cousin motivated her to cast a ballot on Thursday, the last day of early voting. That makes Yancey, voting at Glenview Community Center, a first-time early voter.

“I didn’t want to miss it,” she said.

Shelby County voters discovered few lines midday as they slipped in on the final hours before polls close. It was in and out for voters at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Midtown as well as New Bethel MB Church in Germantown.

TN Secretary of State Tre Hargett said 2.1 million Tennesseans had voted once polls closed Wednesday. Those totals are up 38 percent from 2016 and 60 percent from 2012.

The first week of early voting in Shelby County was the busiest. State records show more than 304,000 people have voted early or absentee in the county. It’s 50 percent of the county’s registered voters.

“I knew it was going to be very busy on Election Day,” Sherritta Smith said.

Smith has never cast a ballot in any election. After early voting Thursday, she said she found the power in her vote.

“It felt like I had a voice,” she said.

If you still have an absentee ballot outstanding, it may not make it to the Shelby County Election Commission in time by mail. The secretary of state’s office has announced that voters can put a stamp on absentee ballots and drop them off at one designated post office in each county to make it by Election Day.

In Shelby County, that’s the Bartlett post office on Elmore Park Road, which is where the Shelby County Election Commission gets their mail. If you drop it off there by 3 p.m. on Election Day, it will make it to the election commission in time.

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