Early voting in Nashville’s special mayoral election began today, just three days after residents of Nashville/Davidson County went to the polls and defeated the $9 billion Nashville transit plan, 64 percent to 36 percent.
Taxpayers will spend an extra $2 million on the May 24 special mayoral election, thanks to the ill advised and legally unsound decision made by the Davidson County Election Commission to schedule the election for a later date, rather than follow the law, as The Tennessee Supreme Court later told them to do in a landmark legal decision last month.
The legal and common sense decision that the Davidson County Election Commission rejected would have scheduled both the transit plan referendum and the special mayoral election for the same day, May 1.
Residents of Nashville/Davidson County can early vote beginning today, and continuing until Saturday, May 19, as News Channel 5 reported:
Right now, you can only vote at the Howard Office Building in downtown Nashville. Hours vary but it opens at 8 a.m. every weekday.
All early polling locations will open next Friday, May 11.
WSMV offered this guide to early voting:
The following locations will be open for voting starting Friday, May 11:
Belle Meade City Hall – 4705 Harding Pike, Nashville, 37205
Bellevue Library – 720 Baugh Road, Nashville, 37221
Bordeaux Library – 4000 Clarksville Pike, Nashville, 37218
Casa Azafrán – 2195 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, 37211
Edmondson Pike Library – 5501 Edmondson Pike, Nashville, 37211
Goodlettsville Community Center – 200 Memorial Drive, Goodlettsville, 37072
Green Hills Library – 3701 Benham Ave., Nashville, 37215
Hermitage Library – 3700 James Kay Lane, Hermitage, 37076
Howard Office Building, Sonny West Auditorium – 700 2nd Ave S, Nashville, TN, 37210
Madison Station Fifty Forward – 301 Madison St, Madison, 37115
Southeast Library – 5260 Hickory Hollow Parkway, Suite 201, Antioch, 37013
Below is the schedule for the early voting locations:
Friday, May 11 – 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 12 – 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday, May 14 – 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 15 – 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 16 – 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 17 – 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, May 18 – 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 19 – 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Details on the volume of early voting may provide some insights about the outcome of the special mayoral election, in which more than a dozen candidates are currently competing.
A total of 59,000 residents of Nashville/Davidson County early voted in the May 1 transit referendum, with an additional 63,000 voting on election day, for a record turnout of 122,000 voters.
Analysts expect the turnout for the May 24 special mayoral election to be significantly lower, ranging from 85,0000 to 95,000.
The five front runners are Acting Mayor David Briley, former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain, At-Large Council Member Erica Gilmore, State Rep. Harold Love, and jeff obafemi carr.
A Tennessee Star Poll released on April 16 gave Briley a substantial lead in the early stages of the campaign, with 43 percent of the vote, followed by Swain in second place with 9 percent of the vote.
Briley’s standing, however, has been seriously damaged by his support for the $9 billion transit plan, which rival Swain has effectively labeled the “Barry-Briley boondoggle.”