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Voters line up at the polls   (TN)

MICHELLE WILLARD The Murfreesboro Post   16 October 2008

More people have voted in the first two days of early voting for the November election, than voted in the entire Murfreesboro Municipal election.

As of midday today 5,151 votes had been cast and absentee ballots received in early voting, compared to the total 4,679 votes cast during municipal election in April.

Only 8.71 percent of registered voters turned out to vote in that election, the lowest voter turnout in Murfreesboro history, Elections administrator Hooper Penuel said at the time.

But this election is different. The six early voting sites across the county have experienced lines with 3,292 early ballots cast Wednesday and another 1,126 cast today by noon.

Some voters have complained of long lines in Smyrna and La Verge. Bill Bulter a blogger out of Nashville (bill.butler.net) wrote he waited two hours to vote on the first day of voting.

“I would much rather our poll workers be accurate than speed up the line because some people are waiting,” Penuel said.

Butler said the hold up was caused by slow computers to validate the voter’s registration and that it only took a few minutes to actually vote.

“Most depressing was watching only two of the five voting machines in use because of the slow registration validation process,” Bulter wrote.

Penuel said he did hear complaints of long lines of an hour to and hour and a half in La Vergne and Smyrna. So he added another computer to the registration tables.

“Hopefully that will speed up the lines,” he said, but he added a lot of people voted in La Vergne yesterday.

Penuel said voters can help the process by bringing in their voter registration card, because it has all the information poll workers need to process voters through in a timely manner.

“We have 15 days of early voting and if the line is too long then come back tomorrow or the next day, because it’ll be there and bring the correct information so we can process them faster,” Penuel said.

“We want to serve the voter, but we want to make sure we get it right the first time,” he added. “We just ask the voter to have some patience.”

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