Poll worker: Election day 'slower than we thought it would be'

Thursday, August 7, 2014

photo People mark the ballots Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, at the St. Mark's United Methodist Church in North Chattanooga.

NEED TO KNOW• Poll hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. EDT. A photo ID is required to cast a ballot.• For a list of polling places, visit http://elect.hamiltontn.gov/PollingPlaces2014.pdf• For questions or problems with voting, call your local election commission. In Hamilton County, that's 423-493-5100.ONLINE• Check out the Times Free Press voter guide for complete information on county races.• See the Times and Free Press endorsements.• Watch the Times Free Press for election updates throughout the evening• Share your thoughts on Twitter using #TFPvote

A steady stream of voters are hitting the polls today to cast ballots in a slew of Hamilton County and primary races.

While early voting has been open for two weeks, polling locations were filled with the sounds of rustling papers and quiet conversations today as last-minute voters turned in their ballots.

"It's been steady, and it's been getting busier," said Cal Chamberlain, a volunteer at a Hixson polling location. "But right now, it's a slower pace than we thought it would be."

This year's high number of early voters could be translating into a lighter election day turnout. More than 21,000 voters cast ballots during early voting in Hamilton County this year, according to the Hamilton County Election Commission. That's about 5,000 more early voters than the last comparable election in August 2010.

Hixson resident Linda Smith didn't have to wait in line at all to cast her vote today, and said she always tries to vote on election day.

"There are a lot of issues I want my voice in," she said. "The people who sit at home need to get up and voice their opinion."

Her husband, Clyde Smith, agreed.

"If you gripe about it, you better vote," he said.

Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today. For a guide to today's candidates, click here.

Stay with timesfreepress.com for updates and live election results as they come in this evening.