As Early Voting Numbers Approach 1.2M In Tennessee, Even Sporadic Voters Turn Out | Nashville Public Radio

As Early Voting Numbers Approach 1.2M In Tennessee, Even Sporadic Voters Turn Out

Oct 30, 2016

Turnout continues at a record-setting pace in Tennessee, with nearly 1.2 million ballots cast as of this weekend. Among those who've made a point of making it to the polls, some admit that they haven't always.

Gerald Garrett of South Nashville, who works in health care, says he's happy to stay home when he feels like his candidate doesn't need his vote — but not this year.

“Usually, when I see that it’s safe, I’m just like, ‘They can go ahead and have it,' " he says. "But I mean ... I had to be here.”

Garrett supports Hillary Clinton and says he doesn't even see this election as a legitimate choice between two candidates. He says he fears a Donald Trump presidency.

More: See a county-by-county breakdown of early voting turnout in Tennessee

But truck driver Vincent Merecki of Wilson County says he believes Trump is the one who is ready to be commander-in-chief.

"I like that he's not afraid to show his passionate side when it comes to topics, especially on immigration," Merecki says. "I don’t really agree with his attitude towards women, but there are other things that I do agree with. I just feel like he's going to get some stuff changed in this country, which is what we need."

Merecki says he's "embarrassed" to admit that he voted for President Obama in 2008. Four years ago, he sat out, saying he didn't like either option.

As of Saturday, about 1,175,000 people had cast their ballots in Tennessee with four days left to vote early.

Early voting runs through Thursday. Election Day is Nov. 8.