State election records on early voting that ended July 28 show Hamilton County dead last in voter turnout, a significant drop in Republican balloting comparing 2014 and 2018 and an even more significant increase in Democrat balloting for the same four years.
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Just looking at total early voting turnout, the numbers seem uninteresting with a very slight decline in ballots cast - 0.21 percent. It's when the numbers for voting in each party are singled out, Hamilton County is seeing a shift in voter activity.
Turnout in Hamilton County among Republicans in 2014 was 15,473, compared with just 11,913 in 14 days of early voting in 2018. That's a drop of just more than 23 percent.
But when it comes to Hamilton County Democrats, early voting turnout was a dismal 5,655 in 2014 but this year's early voting tally shows a huge 65-percent jump to 9,338.
Hamilton County has the fifth-most voters among Tennessee's 95 counties but this year is ranked 95th in turnout with just 8.41 percent of registered voters casting early ballots, records show.