Early-voting numbers update

After this quick update of early voting in the March 8 schools referendum, we're going to wait a few days to comment on turnout -- unless, of course, there is a huge bump that seems newsworthy. For more context on how the "low" turnout so far is a little bit unfair and premature of an assessment, see yesterday's post below.

Today's story on early voting points out that election officials were not expecting big days either Saturday or Monday, the first two days early voting expanded to the 16 satellite locations throughout the city. Saturday's are usually lighter than weekdays for early voting, and Monday was the President's Day bank holiday, keeping a lot of people at home or with their kids (or grandkids), if not out of town altogether making a long weekend of it.

A total of 1,458 people participated Monday, pushing the overall total to 3,619 after three days of downtown-only voting and the two days of full satellite expansion. Voting continutes today through Saturday and then again next Monday through next Thursday (March 3). After that, votes can only be cast on election day (March 8), and then only at your assigned voting precinct (voters participating in early voting may cast a ballot at any early-voting site, regardless of their home precinct).

In terms of demographics, the only noteworthy trend Monday was a real drop in voters registered as "other" (310, or 21.3 percent) -- that cohort had occupied 26 percent of the vote going into Monday. Most elections observers here consider that "other" category to be mostly comprised of more newly registered voters, and those registered as black voters or white voters probably encompassing older voters.

Numbers will likely start to rise this week and, if trends hold, the four days of voting next week will probably see more voters than than previous seven combined. There are still plenty of opportunities for voters to educate themselves about the ramifications of voting YES or NO on approving transfer of administrative control of Memphis schools to Shelby County.

For more information and to keep up yourself, go to www.ShelbyVote.com and find the link on the lefthand side of the page. Or just click here.


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As the process for merging Shelby County's schools accelerates into action, we'll provide bonus coverage here at www.MemphisNewsBlog.com, with a particular focus on the 21-member transition team and the 23-member unified school board. Comment early and often. If you have any tips or suggestions you wish to share, contact Zack McMillin at zmcmillin@commercialappeal.com or 529-2564.

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