Early voting expected to increase in final four days

By , Daily Memphian Updated: April 25, 2022 3:05 PM CT | Published: April 25, 2022 2:49 PM CT

Due to the upcoming Shelby County primary election, The Daily Memphian is making our election coverage free to all readers. Please consider supporting local journalism and this community by subscribing to this site or by donating to our organization. Thank you for your continued participation and support.

Almost 16,000 Shelby County voters cast early, absentee or nursing home ballots in the Shelby County primary elections through Saturday, April 23.

If past early voting trends for the election cycle hold, the last four days of the early voting period will see the heaviest turnout of the entire two-week period set by state law for the balloting ahead of the May 3 election day.

MATA providing free rides on last day of early voting

Early voting ends Thursday at 7 p.m. at 25 of the 26 early voting sites across Shelby County. The exception is Election Commission offices at 157 Poplar Ave., which close at 5 p.m.

Here is the complete schedule.

The 20,544 early votes cast in the last fours days of county primary early voting four years ago accounted for almost half of the 41,261 votes cast during the two weeks.

The last four days in 2014 accounted for all but 5,892 of the early votes for the entire period.

The 18,284 in the last four days of 2010 early voting for the same slate of offices was more than half of the 31,005 for the period.

Our election coverage is free for the Shelby County primaries

Total turnout, including election day, in the Democratic primary for the county offices is normally higher than the companion Republican primaries but sometimes the overall turnout has been close.

The difference in turnout by party is expected to be wider this year for the election cycle because there is only one contested Republican primary on the GOP slate — the District 4 Shelby County Commission primary.

Through Saturday, 11,672 early voters chose the Democratic primary ballot and 4,188 chose the Republican ballot.

Here is the Shelby County Election Commission’s complete chart of turnout through Saturday.

Of the Republican primary early voters, more than a third —1,536 — live in commission District 4, according to the Shelby County Election Commission’s participating voter list. That list is a list of early voters that includes the precincts in which they live in as well as the commission districts in which they live.

Ballot Basics: Early Voting Begins

The six voting sites in the county’s suburban towns and cities have each seen more Republican turnout than Democratic as well as White Station Church of Christ and Second Baptist Church in East Memphis.

The highest Republican primary turnout by location so far has been 488 at Second Baptist and 483 at New Bethel Baptist Church, which are both within commission District 4.

Anointed Temple of Praise is the top Democratic site with 1,046 participating in that primary at the site, followed closely by the 1,032 Democratic primary ballots at Abundant Grace Fellowship Church in Whitehaven.

People’s Convention selects endorsements for Democratic primary

The top Democratic turnout so far by commission district is in District 9, where incumbent Democratic Commissioner Edmund Ford Jr. is seeking re-election.

The 2,081 Democratic primary voters there through Saturday compares to 1,281 — the second-highest total in commission District 12.

The Democratic primary skirmish there among four contenders for the seat Democratic incumbent Van Turner is leaving will decide who gets the seat. No one is running in the companion Republican primary for District 12.

Shelby County outside of Memphis is the largest base of Republican voters in a single county in the state. The Democratic base within the city is the largest base of Democratic votes in a single county in the state.

Democratic mayoral primary is contrast in leadership philosophies

Absentee vote turnout shows the majority of those ballots are in the Democratic primary — 237 compared to 94 in the Republican primary.

The nursing home balloting is closer with 255 voting Democratic and 222 voting Republican.


2022 county primaries early voter turnout Shelby County Election Commission

Bill Dries on demand

Never miss an article. Sign up to receive Bill Dries' stories as they’re published.

Enter your e-mail address

Bill Dries

Bill Dries

Bill Dries covers city and county government and politics. He is a native Memphian and has been a reporter for more than 40 years.


Reading comments and joining the conversation are some of the many benefits of subscribing. Join the conversation by clicking the View Comments button below. Not a subscriber? Click here. 

Our commenting policy can be viewed here