Very early early-vote totals

Though it's far too early to detect any patterns or trends in the scant early voting that has so far occurred on the March 8 schools referendum, there are raw numbers available from the first three days of non-expanded early voting and Saturday's one and only (so far) full day of satellite voting at 16 other locations around the city.

A total of 1,479 people participated at early-voting sites on Saturday. Headed into this week's early voting (available at all of the satellite voting locations), a total of 2,161 people had participated overall (note that the numbers also reflect absentee ballots and votes collected from nursing homes). That's 0.5 percent of Memphis's 413,156 registered voters, and of course 12 more days remain.

It's hard to get a strong feel for whether that is a strong or weak turnout, in the context of previous elections. In the 2007 city elections, the first Saturday of expanded early voting drew 2,040 voters, while in the 2003 city election, only 877 participated in the first Saturday of expanded early voting. We've misplaced our spreadsheets from the 2009 special mayoral election, but reading our old news reports it appears Saturday's number was pretty close to what was posted on the first Saturday of expanded voting in that election (UPDATE: First Saturday of expanded early voting in 2009 special mayoral election had 1,886 voters). Keep in mind, too, that the regular city elections feature dozens of candidates using lots of campaign money to get out the vote -- this election officially has no candidates and concerns just one issue over which there has been much confusion.

The top four locations Saturday were no huge surprise -- White Station Church of Christ (215), Bishop Byrne Catholic School (202), Berclair Church of Christ (149) and Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church (142). Perhaps somewhat of a surprise was the Agricenter location lagging so far behind, with 103 ballots cast, but that could be due to the fact that non-Memphis voters are not eligible for the referendum to transfer administrative control of Memphis schools to Shelby County. Keep in mind that, during early voting, people can cast ballots at any location, regardless of where they live and the precinct they are assigned to vote. So someone living in East Memphis can cast a vote at Mississippi Blvd. in Midtown, for instance. On Election Day, voters must report to their assigned precinct.

The demographic breakdowns were 1,005 registered as black voters (46.5 percent), 594 registered as white voters (27.5 percent) and 562 (26.0 percent) registered as "other." The "other" category usually represents more newly-registered voters who did not disclose race and generally follows the ratio reflected the the black-white breakdown. A good guess here is 60-percent black, 35-percent white with some true non-white and non-black making up the difference.

Later in the week when there are more numbers to work with, we will spreadsheet the turnout and try to zero in on the specific neighborhoods where turnout is the strongest
and those where it is the weakest.

Click on the jump below to the right to see a listing of all voting locations:

Satellite locations
Weekdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Agricenter (Rotunda Hallway): 7777 Walnut Grove 
Anointed Temple Of Praise (Youth Room):  3939 Riverdale Rd., 38115
Bellevue Baptist Church:  2000 Appling Rd., 38016
Berclair Church of Christ:  4536 Summer, 38122
Bishop Byrne High School:  1475 E. Shelby Dr., 38116
Dave Wells Community Center: 915 Chelsea, 38107
Glenview Community Center: 1141 S. Barksdale, 38114
Greater Middle Baptist Church (Fellowship Hall): 4982 Knight Arnold Rd., 38118
Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church -- Family Life Center:  70 N. Bellevue, 38104
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church (Fellowship Bldg):  3045 Chelsea, 38107
Mt. Zion Baptist Church:  60 S. Parkway E., 38106
Raleigh United Methodist Church:  3295 Powers Rd., 38128
Riverside Baptist Church: 3560 S. Third, 38109
Shiloh Baptist Church:  3121 Range Line, 38127
White Station Church of Christ:  1106 Colonial, 38117

Shelby County Election Commission site Downtown: 157 Poplar, Suite 121.
Weekdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


“Very early early-vote totals - Eye on Schools Merger” was indeed a beneficial blog.
If merely there were considerably more websites just like this particular one in
the cyberspace. Anyway, thanks a lot for ur time, Lavon

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

  • About

As the process for merging Shelby County's schools accelerates into action, we'll provide bonus coverage here at, 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 or 529-2564.

  • Zack McMillin on Twitter