In a Seymour-first, early voting for the November elections began on Thursday and runs through Saturday.

Residents can go to the Seymour Public Library to cast their votes in what stands to be one of the most memorable elections—both nationally and locally—in recent memory.

With the Seymour Public Library being added as the newest early voting station, the total number of early voting locations in Sevier County now stands at 23.

Seymour residents were out in force Thursday morning taking advantage of the communities’ first early voting period.

Gail Thomson, a Boyds Creek school teacher, said the early voting period makes the whole process more convenient.

“This is perfect for me since I can’t always get out of school early to vote,” said Thompson.

Sevier County Election Commissioner Elizabeth Pierce was anxious to see people’s reaction to Seymour’s fist early voting period.

“I have been really nervous about it,” said Pierce, a resident of Sevier County for the past 45 years. “We realize we’ve got to have a good turnout if we want to have a permanent place here in Seymour for early voting. So it’s really just up to the people and the community if they want this or not.”

With just over 1,000 people casting votes in each Sevier County district last election, county election officials feel like the early voting period could enhance the total number of voters this time around.

“I don’t know if a number has been set (for the anticipated increase in voters this election),” said Seymour politician Bill Oakes, the acting commissioner of the sixth district. “I just feel like we’ll see how smooth it is and find out as we go.

“We only have three days where we would like to have two full weeks.

Officials estimated that 20 percent of votes cast in the last election were done be early voters.

“We’ve been trying to get early voting down here (in Seymour) for the last five years,” said Oakes. “The people wanted it and the election commission has seen fit to help us out.

“I had the privaledge of being the very first voter here today, which is something I’m very proud of,” Oakes added, only half-joking.

The early voting will be held from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Seymour library on Thursday and Friday. The voting hours for Saturday are from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

 

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