(WSMV file photo)


Less than 10-percent of Nashvillians voted early for the upcoming mayoral special election on May 24.

The special election, which was originally scheduled for August 2 (the same day as the state’s primary election), determines who will finish out Megan Barry’s term after she resigned in March.

The decision to move up the election left many worried that turnout, especially among early voters, would be very low.

While turnout remained under 2,000 votes during the first week of early voting, there was spike the second week when additional polling places opened around the city. Voting spiked again on Thursday and Friday, with daily totals of 5,194 and 6,654, respectively.

The 7,818 votes cast Saturday, the final day of early voting, brought the total early voting tally to 34,576.

That’s only 9.58-percent of the 360,804 regular, active voters in Davidson County.

It’s also 13,030 fewer votes than the city saw just a few weeks ago during early-voting for county primary elections when voters also got the chance to weigh in on the hotly-debated transit plan referendum.

That ballot drew a record 47,606 early votes, turnout the city hasn’t seen for a referendum since the 1996 decision to add an NFL team.

While voting for the mayoral special election officially culminates this coming Thursday, there are still many obstacles ahead.

With 13 candidates on the ballot and a truncated campaign cycle, one candidate achieving a 50-plus-percent majority on May 24 is unlikely. Meaning, a runoff between the top three candidates will likely take place.

Not to mention, this upcoming race only elects a new mayor to finish out Barry’s term, and another mayoral election will be held in 2019.

Voting for the special election will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 24. To find your election-day polling place, click here.

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