Although the lines continue to be long at many early-voting locations right now, waiting until Election Day is a risky plan, said a staff member for Nashville Mayor John Cooper.
Rising COVID-19 cases and long lines for early voting may be turning away some potential voters, said Fabian Bedne in his weekly Spanish language press conference. Bedne added that early voting is still relatively safer than voting on Election Day, which is expected to have double the amount of voters than those who have voted to date.
“Everyone working at the polling stations has protective equipment and is focusing on keeping conditions safe for everyone,” said guest speaker Jose Guevara, who works for VoteEarlyTN.
“The benefits of voting early is that instead of a large population voting on Election Day, the crowds will be sparse instead. With fewer people, the better your safety,” said Guevara.
Although the lines may snake around the polling location, “the lines have been moving very quickly,” said Bedne.
Voters are not required to wear masks, but the Tennessee Secretary of State strongly encourages its use in light of rising COVID cases.
The deadline for absentee voting is Oct. 27 and voters are required to have pre-existing conditions to qualify. Early voting ends Oct. 29.
For more information on polling locations and hours, visit https://web.go-vote-tn.elections.tn.gov.