Tennessee’s primary election is Thursday. This is the last chance for citizens to cast a ballot in person or have their absentee ballots mailed to their county’s election commission.
The U.S. Senate seat, with Nashville surgeon Manny Sethi and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty has been the most high-profile race with each candidate tapping GOP star power to help break through in limited campaign appearances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Congressional and legislative seats along with some county elections are also on the ballot in certain areas.
During the 14 days of early voting that ended Saturday, the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office reported that 578,252 voters cast a ballot at an early voting place or by mail — a 106% increase from 2016 and 77% increase from 2012. In the 2018 primary, there were 613,624 early ballots cast and 17,747 absentee ballots mailed. Absentee ballots are way up in 2020 because of COVID-19.
Polls are scheduled to close at 7 p.m. and the first results should be in about an hour later. We’ll have the latest results here all night.