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Early voting nears 350,000 ballots in Tennessee election

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Early voting nears 350,000 ballots in Tennessee election

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) โ€” Tennesseans are voting in record numbers with close to 350,000 ballots cast in the first three days of early voting.

According to vote totals on the Secretary of State’s website 346,130 early and absentee ballots had been cast in the midterm elections by the end of the day Friday. The number was continuing to update on Saturday.

Traffic jam ensues as Bellevue Library, a spot for Early Voting for Midterms, finds drivers circling parking lot looking for a spot, October 19, 2018.

The election includes a high-profile race between U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Democratic former Gov. Phil Bredesen to replace retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

In the governor’s race, polls show businessman Bill Lee with a lead over Democratic former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean in the race to succeed term-limited GOP Gov. Bill Haslam.

Voting was less robust than the first days of the 2016 presidential election, but not by a lot. Wednesday was the first day of early voting, and it saw 120,970 ballots cast, only about 20,000 behind the first day of the 2016 election. Voting did not drop significantly on Thursday, with 110,263 ballots, and Friday, with 114,897 ballots. The Friday numbers were continuing to update on Saturday as counties reported their totals to the state.

Election Day is Nov. 6. Voters can cast their ballots early through Nov. 1. Only those already registered to vote can participate.

Early voting locations are available at county election commission offices, as well as satellite voting locations, and are open Monday through Saturdays. To find your local early voting site, check your county’s website or download the GoVote TN mobile app.

Tennesseans must bring a valid driver’s license or photo ID issued by the state of Tennessee, a U.S. passport, a military photo ID or a Tennessee handgun carry permit. Out-of-state photo ID, college student IDs or local municipal IDs are not accepted.

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Early voting nears 350,000 ballots in Tennessee election