11:37am

Mon July 23, 2012
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Tennesseans Take to Early Voting Option

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Early voting is gaining popularity in Tennessee.

Tennessee Election Commission Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins  says this year's early voting turnout is on track to surpass the last two comparable August elections.

Goins says early voting started in 1994 and has become more popular every year.  Voters clearly like early voting, and Goins says the option also reduces the strain on state resources.

“It does help election officials, because you don’t have the flow of everyone hitting at one time on one day. So certainly election officials and voters both can take advantage of the convenience and less lines by utilizing early voting."

In 2008, about 206,000 votes were cast early, 37 percent of the total. So far this year more than 117,000 people have voted already for the upcoming Aug. 2 election. Goins says he expects the number of early voters to jump substantially over the last three or four days.

Early voting ends Saturday, July 28.