A look at the numbers for early voting in advance of the Nov. 2 election day seems in order. The Shelby County Election Commission data for the first week of early voting is in.
As we’ve tweeted (@memphisdaily), over 39,000 – or 6.6 percent – of Shelby County’s 603,000 voters have voted early so far. Early voting goes through Oct. 28.
The data tells anyone who cares to look at www.shelbyvote.com everything about the early voters except how they voted. It gets slightly less specific with this election because there are no primaries, so no division of voters in Democratic and Republican columns.
Here’s the breakdown by race and sex:
- White: 52.4%
- Other*: 26.1%
- Black: 21.5%
- Female: 52.7%
- Male: 47.3%
* other is voters of other races or voters who did not indicate their race at all on voter registration forms.
The turnout has been higher in the suburban areas based on the breakdown of which election day precinct the early voters live in.
The 11 Germantown precincts had turnouts between 10.9 percent and 15.3 percent. The top turnout countywide by percentage was 17 percent in 57-00 which votes at Second Baptist Church on Walnut Grove Road on election day.
But because the precincts are different sizes, percentages don’t always tell the whole story.
The actual numbers of early voters by the precincts they live in confirms the bigger suburban turnout so far.
Through Wednesday, only 5 of the 66 election day precincts with suburban prefixes like GER and BAR and COL had a turnout below 175.
Lakeland 01 had the highest number turnout in Shelby County with 660 early voters from that area. It was followed by 635 in Germantown 04 and 602 in Collierville 04.
The highest number turnout in a Memphis district (for our general purposes the ones with numbers as prefixes instead of letters) was in 80-02 at Kirby Woods Baptist Church on Poplar in East Memphis. There were only two other “city” precincts that cracked 400 through Wednesday, 57-00 at Second Baptist and 68-03 at Shady Grove Elementary School.
As we’ve pointed out in our election coverage, turnout for this election cycle in the past has been relatively high, 46 percent four years ago when the ballot featured the general election statewide U.S. Senate race between Harold Ford Jr. and Bob Corker. 66 percent way back in 1970 when there was a hot U.S. Senate race in which Republican Bill Brock upset Democratic incumbent Albert Gore Sr. and Memphian Winfield Dunn was the GOP nominee for governor and beat Democrat John Jay Hooker..
This time around the consolidation charter seems to be calling the tune that voters are dancing to in Shelby County.
Our Friday edition which goes online at 4 this afternoon has the latest in our series exploring what’s in the charter as well as a look at some doubts about the lawsuit over the consolidation vote count being expressed by one of the first Memphians to question the two separate vote counts.
And we’ve also got the latest drama between Mike McWherter and Bill Haslam in the governor’s race over guns and permits for those guns.
We’ve also got more coming up in the near future on the statewide referendum on the amendment to Tennessee Constitution that would make hunting and fishing a personal right. The story that kicked off the reaction is in Thursday’s edition of TDN.