Davidson County saw 94,600 votes cast during early voting for the Nov. 8, 2022, general election, according to the Davidson County Election Commission, a lower turnout than the 2018 midterm election which saw 162,256 votes cast in Davidson County.
2022 state-wide early voting totals sits at 882,310 while the 2018 election saw 1,378,840 early votes cast.
Those numbers included absentee and mail-in votes, with voters casting ballots across 12 Davidson County early-voting locations from Oct. 19-Nov. 3.
Early voting was not without issues, however, as the Davidson County Election Commission confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday, Nov. 2, that more than 200 votes had been cast in wrong races since the beginning of early voting, with the number of potentially impacted voters rising to 438 as of Friday, Nov. 5.
Initially, a review by the election commission determined that 190 voters cast ballots in a wrong congressional race, 16 cast votes in a wrong state Senate race and six cast votes in a wrong state House race, something that Davidson County Election Administrator Jeff Roberts told the AP had been addressed.
On Nov. 4, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee issued a news release announcing an "agreement with the Secretary of State, Governor Lee and the Davidson County Election Commission to protect the right to vote of hundreds, if not thousands, of Davidson County voters who could have been unable to vote in the races for their districts on November 8 due to receiving incorrect ballots," following a lawsuit filed in the Chancery Court for Davidson County against the election commission.
The commission promised those given an incorrect ballot due to 'district misassignment' the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot on Election Day at the election commission office on Murfreesboro Pike following the publishing of names of voters who had unknowingly voted in the wrong races.
“Today’s victory ensures that Davidson County residents’ constitutional right to cast a ballot in the districts where they live is protected,” ACLU-TN Legal Director Stella Yarbrough said in the release. “Davidson County voters can now rest assured that their voice and their values will be heard in this election.”
According to the ACLU of Tennessee, the provisional ballots will be consulted if the election is contested after the fact. “The state will conduct a full audit and review of the scope of the issue so that similar situations can be prevented in the future,” ACLU of Tennessee representatives said. “...and that the Election Commission will preserve items such as the district maps originally in use during this election for future review."
The error and public confusion comes after Nashville was split into three congressional districts earlier this year, a change that retiring Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper previously called “devastating" to the "political influence of minority groups in Nashville."