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Kingsport, Bristol post increases in voter turnout; Bluff City sees decline

J. H. Osborne • May 25, 2013 at 10:54 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Voter turnout was up in both Kingsport and Bristol, Tenn., for city elections last week, compared to turnout for the last two city election cycles, Sullivan County Administrator of Elections Jason Booher said — but turnout was down in Bluff City.

Unofficial results from last Tuesday’s elections in the three cities are expected to be certified Tuesday by the Sullivan County Election Commission.

According to Booher:

•Unofficial results show 15.4 percent of Kingsport’s 28,881 registered voters cast a ballot in the Model City’s election. That represents a 4.4 percent increase from voter turnout for the city’s 2011 election, and a 2.4 percent increase over 2009.

•Unofficial results show 21.5 percent of Bristol Tennessee’s 14,589 registered voters cast a ballot in the city’s election. That represents a 8.5 percent increase from voter turnout for the city’s 2011 election, and an 11.5 percent increase over 2009.

•Unofficial results show 27.1 percent of Bluff City’s 958 registered voters cast a ballot in the city’s election. That represents a 1.9 percent decrease from voter turnout for the city’s 2011 election, and a 4.9 percent decrease from 2009.

Booher said unlike Kingsport and Bristol, early voter turnout was down in Bluff City this year, compared to the last two city elections — with 56 early voters this year, 74 early voters in 2011, and 60 early voters in 2009.

In Bristol Tennessee’s city election this time around, 1,708 voters cast ballots during early voting — up from 693 in 2011 and 501 in 2009.

For Kingsport’s city election last week, 2,015 voters cast ballots during early voting — up from 1,302 in 2011 and 1,478 in 2009.

“It is encouraging to see the increase in voter turnout in both Bristol and Kingsport,” Booher said. “What is noteworthy is the increase in turnout during early voting, especially in Bristol. I believe the new early voting location at the National Guard Armory in Bristol is one of the reasons we saw early voting jump from 693 in 2011 to 1,708 in this election.”

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