By Mike Steely

As of Friday morning, some 33,699 Knox County voters had gone through the long ballot with early voting ending the next day. The county general election and state primary is Thursday, August 2nd.

Thus far, through the end of early voting on Thursday, the new Downtown West voting place led in the number of people voting, with 9,445 ballots. Farragut’s precinct was second with 7,218 and New Harvest Park had 3,773 voters. Republican Primary voters cast 24,956 and Democratic voters case 10,229. One hundred and six voters voted in the general election only and chose neither party primary.

Absentee ballots cast were 1,594, bring the total early voter numbers to 35,293 people.

May’s local primary saw only 49,652 total votes cast.

Cliff Rogers, Director of the Knox County Election Commission, had said he hoped for a total of 85,000 to 90,000 voters total. Voting steadily increased over last week with Thursday seeing more than 4,232 voters turn out to exercise their rights to choose their local, state and national representatives. If Friday and Saturday numbers are similar the hoped-for number of voters after August 2nd could top the expectation.

Rogers told The Focus Thursday that voters should expect long lines in this week’s general election. He said that if the early voting totals Friday and Saturday are what he expects that Knox County numbers could reach the 85,000 level.

He said that early voting has already exceeded totals from similar elections four and eight years ago. Rogers also said he’s spoken with the State Election Commission and it appears some voters are holding off voting until Election Day because of the primary for Tennessee Governor and other disputed state and national battles for office.