By Mike Steely
“Over 2,200 more people voted early in-person in 2021 than in 2017, with New Harvest Park being the site with the most voters,” Chris Davis, Knox County Election Coordinator, told The Focus Friday.
Davis attributed the higher turnout to competitive races and an increased interest in property-qualified voting . Property voting permits people who own property in Knoxville but don’t live there to vote in city elections.
He also said concerns about Covid have led to an increase in absentee by mail voting.
The total number of in-person early voters in the August 2017 City of Knoxville Primary was 3,369, which was easily exceeded this year by a total of in-person voters numbering 5,577.
Davis said the total absentee voters in 2017 was 484 but absentee votes this year topped 758 with five days left to return ballots by mail.
The New Harvest Park polling place drew the largest number of early voters.
The city primary election day is this Tuesday. Only voters living in the five districts may vote. Each race has an incumbent facing at least one challenger. Some districts have the incumbent facing three challengers.
The top two candidates in each district proceed to the November General Election in which all qualified city voters may vote in each race.
For a list of election day polling locations, click here.