Williamson County sees voter registration uptick before November midterms, turnout expected to be “considerable”


Williamson County sees voter registration uptick before November midterms, turnout expected to be “considerable”

By BROOKE WANSER

Since the August primary election, 9,000 voters have registered in Williamson County, reflecting the national trend towards political activism in the wake of the charged Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Elections Administrator Chad Gray said just over 3,000 of those registrations occurred in the last week, with around 90 percent of voter registrations online aiding in the increase.

“We expect to see the number of new registrations exceed the new registrations received for the same time period before the November 2016 presidential election,” he said. Gray also said he expected to complete processing new voter registration forms Monday.

So how does this compare with years past?

According to the Secretary of State’s election statistics, 11,906 had registered to vote in the six-month period from June to December of 2016, bringing the year total to just over 20,000.

This year, 5,205 had registered to vote by June.

From June 1 through October 9 of this year, Gray said he had received 12,627 total new registrations.

“It’s been pretty wild this time,” he said. With online registration for the first time in a large election, “I think it was a little hard for us to anticipate how that would be.”

Gray said Monday and Tuesday of last week were when the most submitted registration forms had been submitted.

Voter turnout in the midterm election was at 30 percent, a relatively high number in a state that’s typically among the lowest for turnout in the nation.

Gray anticipated turnout by November 6 to be “considerable for this type of race.”

“I would not be surprised if we didn’t hit 55 to 60 percent,” Gray said, a feat which has not occurred in over a decade.

In the 2006 general election, which featured a close U.S. Senate race between Sen. Bob Corker and Harold Ford, Jr., Gray said voter turnout was the highest he could remember, at 56.8 percent in Williamson County.

In 1994, a general election which saw 66 percent turnout in Williamson County, will long be remembered as the year Republicans gained a majority in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

To learn more about voting in this election, candidates, and to see district maps, visit williamsonchamber.com/vote.

About The Author

Brooke Wanser is the associate editor for the Franklin Home Page, and can be reached at brooke.wanser@homepagemediagroup.com. Follow her on Twitter at @BWanser_writes or @FranklinHomepg.

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