First day of early voting draws hundreds to Blount Co. library

More than 700 people people voted at the Blount County Public Library on Wednesday for the first day of early voting.
Heading to the Polls in Blount Co.
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 11:28 PM EDT
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - More than 700 people people voted at the Blount County Public Library on Wednesday for the first day of early voting.

Most people said they rushed to the polls just to make sure their vote was in early so they didn’t have to worry about it.

“This is crazy. I mean, it’s wonderful actually," exclaimed Bill Kilgore.

LIVE: Have you voted today? People are lined up at the Blount County library to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting.

Posted by WVLT on Wednesday, October 14, 2020

For almost a decade, Kilgore has been an officer of elections at the Blount County Public Library in Maryville.

“It has been an almost two hour wait today for a long time," said Kilgore.

The line had wrapped around the building, which Kilgore said hadn’t happened since the last day of early voting in the 2016 election.

The wait did not stop a couple first-time general election teenage voters.

“It’s good to see young people out here as well; it’s exciting," said Emily Humphrey, a Pellissippi State student.

It was fall break for her and Tyler Bennett.

“It feels great," said Bennett, "I’ve been waiting to do this for a long time, and I thought today was the right day to do it because it’s the first day of early voting and you know the sun’s shining and it’s sunny and 75.”

The wait dwindled to a little under an hour for Marc Atchley and his daughter, Nita.

“It looked longer than what I think it ended up being," explained Atchley, “I didn’t really know what to expect. We just knew we wanted to get in and vote.”

Hundreds vote in Blount County

It’s a family matter Kilgore supported.

“I had one kid tell me I’m only here for the ‘I Voted’ Sticker. He’s here and he’s learning about the process and learning that responsibility from his parents," said Kilgore.

Others crossed voting off the to-do list to keep their family safe, like Kaney Buchanan.

“Oh, it’ll be good to get it over with. And you know I live at home with a high-risk father and I’m kind of worried about his health, and I just kind of want to get it over with to minimize exposure," said Buchanan.

Coronavirus safety was key to this year’s election. There were plastic shields to protect voters and poll workers.

Voters were given a food service glove to touch the screen to cast their ballot.

The library was professionally cleaned as well.

“When we started this morning, we were several notches above hospital grade on our cleanliness," said Kilgore.

Kilgore thought the momentum would keep going. The only slow down he expected was mid-next week when all the early voters would cast their ballots and others would wait until election day.

Blount County early voting days and hours vary, but the last day to vote early is Thursday October 29.

The best time for people to vote was not when polls open, at lunch or when polls close, but in between those times.

Click here for a list of early voting locations and times for Blount County.

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