Currently The Leader's managing editor, Echo Day is an 11-year veteran of the paper.

In Thursday's county general and state primary election voter turnout was 28.8 percent. 

In total, only 9,408 of the county's 32,700 active voters made it to the polls. Most of those - 5,065 - were early and absentee votes and 4,343 were cast on election day. 

That's even with opposition in eight of nine county commission races.

"Twenty-eight percent isn't that great in my view," said Cindy Pinner, Tipton County's administrator of elections. "This was an important race."

Pinner said polling locations were steady, but not "overly covered up" with voters Thursday. 

Here's what we know about voter turnout: 

Early vs. Election Day voting - Midterms 2018

1.  Early voter turnout was higher than Election Day turnout, but not in most precincts.

Though the overall numbers show more voters turned out early than on election day, that was only in four precincts: Atoka, Southwest Tipton (Drummonds, Quito and Randolph area), West Wilkinsville (Simmons, Wilkinsville, Happy Valley area) and Brighton. 

Enough people voted early in those areas – 2,220, in fact – that it made the overall early and absentee turnout higher than election day turnout.


Voter turnout vs. Active Voters - Midterms 2018

2. Atoka has the highest number of active voters – and its only half of the district's population.

Population in the Atoka precinct, which encompasses the city and the surrounding regional planning area, is more than 10,000 people but only 5,016 are active voters. Only 1,400 of those voters – 27.9 percent – voted in this election.

That precinct (District 4) had one of the most contested county commission races of the season with Atoka homebuilder and alderman Walker Adams, construction business owner John Harber and youth services officer Stephen Shopher challenging incumbents Mike Sterling and John DeLancey. 

Munford and Southeast Covington, which is the area of the city split by Liberty Avenue/Hwy. 59 West, follow with 3,764 and 3,598 active voters. Northeast Covington has the lowest number of active voters at 3,305. 


Voter turnout by percentage of registered voters - Midterms 2018

3. Percentage-wise, Tipton West had the best turnout.

The Tipton West precinct – which covers the Bride, Leighs Chapel, Kelleys Chapel, Garland, Detroit, Holly Grove, Burlison and Gilt Edge areas – has 3,383 active voters and 37.1 percent of those voted.

In that precinct, Burlison Gin owner Richard Kelley challenged incumbents Steve Bringle and Jeff Mason. Kelley and Mason defeated the longtime commissioner.

Southeast Covington and Munford followed with 33.8 and 31.3 percent turnout. Northeast Covington had the lowest turnout at 21.9 percent. That district had no opposition in local races this election, but generally has lower turnout that most districts.


Hargett with McCorkles

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett visits with Shaylon McCorkle, 5, and Patty McCorkle of Mason during a visit to the Tipton County Election Commission office in Covington on Oct. 21, 2016. "We've got to show him how important it is to vote," Patty said of grandson Shaylon. 

4. More than 2,700 people have registered to vote since the presidential election. 

Pinner said from the 2016 presidential election until July 3, the cutoff date for Thursday's election, 2,710 people registered to vote. That number includes the 753 voters who have registered since the May 1 county primary.

She said there will be another increase by the next election in November.

"There is still a stack of forms here waiting to be processed," Pinner said. "The state said they've been bombarded with people wanting to register online, there were hundreds every day from across the state as we got closer to the cut-off." 

Voter registration for the November 2018 municipal elections will be open until Oct. 9. Early voting begins Oct. 17. 

Still need to register? Click here for more information on how you can exercise your voting rights. 

Echo Day is The Leader's managing editor. To contact her, call 901-476-7116 or email eday@covingtonleader.com.

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