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Early vote strong, official says

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By Damon Lawrence

Roane County Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway said he’s been pleased with the turnout for early voting.

Prior to its commencement on July 18, Holiway was encouraging people to take advantage of early voting because of a longer-than-usual ballot this year.

Figures from the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office showed 5,413 people voted early in Roane County through Wednesday.

Election Day is Aug. 7.

Saturday is the final day to vote early.

Early voting sites are Rockwood Community Center, Harriman Community Center, Kingston Community Center and First Christian Church in Oak Ridge.

Early voting hours today – Friday – are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hours on Saturday are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Holiway said one of the advantages of early voting is people can cast ballots at any of the four sites. On the day of the election, however, they have to vote at their assigned precinct.

Holiway said moving early voting from the Roane County Courthouse to the Kingston Community Center this year has worked out well.

“People don’t have to worry about parking, and they can get right in and right out,” Holiway said.

That wasn’t the case at the courthouse.

“When the courts are going there’s usually not any parking available,” Holiway said. “People had to walk quite a ways to get in the courthouse. They had to come through security and then come to our office to register and go back to vote.”

Holiway said he hasn’t had any complaints about the Kingston Community Center.

“People have been able to find adequate parking and everything, so it’s worked out good,” he said.

The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.