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Tennessee sees record-breaking early voting results

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Though the polls won't open until Tuesday morning, there has already been a record-breaking turnout.

Election officials say more than half of the registered voters in Tennessee have already cast their ballot.

"Running an election is kind of like running the Red Cross. You have to be prepared for the fire, flood, the tornado," says Sullivan County Administrator of Elections, Jason Booher.

More than 2.3 million Tennesseans have already cast their ballot. That's 51-percent of registered voters. In Sullivan County about 55,000 people have already voted.

"To put that in perspective, our record turnout for any election was set in 2016. If we voted an additional 6,000 people roughly on Election Day, we will exceed that record. And to put that into perspective, we typically see 20 to 30,000 people cast a ballot on Election Day,” says Booher.

Election officials in Virginia have been working to process those early ballots. In Tennessee, early and absentee ballots cannot be tallied until Election Day.

“We want to make sure every legal vote is counted and the real goal is to make sure that happens," says Tennessee's Secretary of State, Tre Hargett. "If that takes a little extra time, I would rather them take a little extra time to count those ballots like they should, instead of feeling like there’s an arbitrary deadline by the time the polls close to get it done. We want to ensure that every legal vote counts.”

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. For those who still need to cast their ballot, you need to bring a valid photo ID.

Tennesseans are also encouraged to wear a face covering and practice social distancing for the health and safety of poll workers and other voters.

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