Reported by Mark Bruce
Eyewitness News Anchor/Reporter
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Days before the end of early voting, election leaders call preliminary totals surprisingly low. A little more than 5,000 people have cast ballots in Hamilton County.
"The numbers have been very disappointing," said Administrator Bud Knowles.
That's 11,000 votes short of totals from the August 2006 primary. Administrators expected the buzz over Billy Long's arrest and guilty plea to carry over to election season, and the choice of his replacement. So far, it hasn't, but the cost for running the elections stays the same.
"I try to be conservative and protect taxpayer dollar, and when they don't turn out, it's costing us money," Knowles said.
Knowles says it costs his office $40,000 to hold early voting. So far, each vote has cost $8 of taxpayer money.
Early voting ends in Hamilton County Saturday. Election day is next Thursday, August 7.