According to unofficial results, 36,196 votes were cast early, absentee and on Tuesday collectively yielding a 57.6 percent turnout. Data showed 11,816 voted Tuesday.
Phones rang endlessly through the day at the Bradley County Elections Office. A problem with voters who had changed addresses was the most prominent issue of the day.
“The phones have rung nonstop,” said Bradley County Elections Commissioner Steve Crump.
Crump said he fielded calls all day in the office.
“The voters who had changed their address got to vote,” Crump said.
“Their registrations were verified and new addresses researched to see where they were supposed to vote. The voters filled out a ‘fail-safe’ affidavit which allowed them to vote,” Crump explained.
Long lines were reported at all 17 voting places. Commissioner Dana Burgner said voters were lined up appropriately 30 minutes before polling closed at the Senior Center on Urbane Road, to get their votes cast for president, state representative positions, senatorial and federal seats.
“There were no other major issues other than address changes,” Crump said.
“Had we known turnout would have been so great, we would have added a few more workers at the heavier precincts,” he said.
“It was historical and a great election turnout in terms of our numbers,” Crump added.
Officials also said they will evaluate the overall election day process.
Crump said during early voting, laptops are used at the three early voting sites to check addresses.
“We would like to place a laptop at each of the 17 voting day precincts. That would allow the officials at the site to access names and verify addresses which would alleviate the many calls which we took Tuesday,” Crump said.
Mimi Angel, deputy administrator at the Bradley County Elections Office said today that all indications were that even though long lines were evident, registered voters got to place their votes before polls closed at 8 p.m.
New districting in Bradley County was evident this year as Scott DesJarlais (R) vied for U.S. House District 4, coming out on top with the high vote in the district, which includes Bradley and Meigs, among others.
State Rep. Eric Watson (R) retained his District 22 seat which includes Bradley Polk and Meigs counties. Watson carried the vote in all three counties over Jonathan Gladden.
Chuck Fleischmann (R) also kept his seat as District 3 congressman with 157,725 total votes to Democratic opponent Mary Headrick who received 91,031 total votes.
Todd Gardenhire (R) is the new 10th District senator-elect and took 10,245 votes over Andrae McGary (D), 2,509 votes.
Kevin Brooks (R), 24th District state representative, was unopposed and garnered 17,297 votes.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R), defeated Mark Clayton (D) with 28,179 votes to Clayton’s 5,299 in Bradley County and 1,501,621 total votes to Clayton’s 733,444.
See Page 9 for a summary of voting.