Early Voting Turnout a Record For Tennessee

Nashville (AP) -- A contentious US Senate race is a big reason Tennesseans are flocking to the polls and giving the state its highest early voter turnout ever.

Final figures show more than 867,000 people voted during October 18th through November second.

That's a 49% increase over the same period during the 2002 midterm elections.

State Election Coordinator Brook Thompson said Friday that this was the most early voters the state has had for a non-Presidential race.

Much of the attention this year is on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's seat. Democratic Candidate Harold Ford Junior and Republican Bob Corker have run a neck-to-neck race since the fall.

The race has been closely watched because the outcome could determine whether Democrats take control of the Senate from Republicans.

Both parties are pleased with the increase in voter turnout.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.