At 23 percent, Hamilton County sets voter turnout record
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN. (Times Free Press) -- In baseball terms, Hamilton County voters couldn't even crack a .250 batting average -- fewer than one in four registered voters in Tennessee's fourth-largest county cast a ballot in the Aug. 2 elections.
But it's all relative: Enough residents took advantage of two weeks of early voting, hot races and beautiful election-day weather to give Hamilton County its largest turnout rate for a comparable election since 1992.
Of 216,003 registered voters, 50,562 visited the polls or mailed absentee ballots, yielding a 23 percent turnout and ending a 12-year stretch in which the rate floundered in the teens.
Hamilton County voters punched 20,000 more ballots this year than in August 2008, the last time county general elections and state and federal primaries preceded a presidential election.