Few Early Voters So Far, But Satellite Locations Open on Monday



As of Saturday, April 17, a grand total of 1,085 early and absentee votes had been cast in primary voting for countywide offices since April 14, the beginning of early voting, at the downtown Election Commission office. That’s only .2 percent — a fifth of one percent —of the eligible electorate, which numbers 545,036 voters.

With 20 satellite voting centers (listed below) opening on Monday, April 19, the number is expected to rise dramatically, however.

So far, African American voters seem to be voting disproportionately to white voters — at a rate of 43.4 percent to 30.0 percent, with 25.7 percent for “others,” a category which skews overall analysis, since, besides Asians, Native Americans, and Hispanics, it includes significant numbers of both blacks and whites who decline to designate their race.

More meaningful, perhaps, is the partisan breakdown, 28.2 percent of voters casting ballots in the Republican primary, with 71.7 percent voting in the Democratic primary. That ratio roughly corresponds to normal voting patterns in countywide balloting, as evidenced in the 2002 and 2006 votes.

Gender-wise, 59.1 percent of the voters to date have been female, and 40.8 percent have been male. This statistic reflects the traditionally higher voting rate of women in local elections.

For the record, the total number of eligible Shelby County, 545,036, is down from 602,508 registered voters in 2006. The decrease reflects a purge of the voting list carried out by the Election Commission in the last two years.

Of the total number of registered voters, 193,624 (or 35.5 percent) are black; 161,538 (or 29.6 percent) are white; and 189,874 (or 34.8 percent) are “other.”

Voting hours at the Shelby County Election Commission, at 157 Poplar, Suite 121, are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Satellite voting hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The satellite sites are:
Agricenter (Rotunda Hallway), 7777 Walnut Grove
Anointed Temple Of Praise (Youth Room), 3939 Riverdale
Baker Community Center, 7942 Church
Bellevue Baptist Church, 2000 Appling Road
Berclair Church of Christ, 4536 Summer
Bethel Church, 5586 Stage Road
Bishop Byrne High School, 1475 E. Shelby Dr.
Bridge at Lakeland, suite 106, 3570 Canada Road
Collierville Church of Christ, 575 West Shelton Road
Dave Wells Community Center, 915 Chelsea
Glenview Community Center, 1141 S. Barksdale
Greater Middle Baptist Church (Fellowship Hall), 4982 Knight Arnold
Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church-Family Life Center, 70 N. Bellevue
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church (Fellowship Hall), 3045 Chelsea
New Bethel Baptist Church-Family Life Center, 7786 Poplar Pike
Pyramid Recovery Center, 1833 S. Third
Raleigh United Methodist Church, 3295 Powers Road
Riverside Baptist Church, 3560 S. Third
Shiloh Baptist Church, 3121 Range Line Road
White Station Church of Christ, 1106 Colonial Road

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