The Commercial Appeal reports “smooth sailing” at the polls, in spite of County Republican Party chairman Bill Giannini’s comments to the contrary:

A contractor for the voting machine vendor, Diebold Elections Systems, said at the 10 precincts he’d visited the machines were operating smoothly. Election Commission Chairman Greg Duckett said he found smooth operations — and short lines — on a morning tour through South Memphis.

County Republican Party chairman Bill Giannini, however, said he waited an hour and a half to vote in Lakeland. Lines were growing even larger at 10 a.m., he said.

“Even in a presidential election I haven’t seen turnout like that,’’ Giannini said.

I drove past two polling places (right at 5:00) in heavy Democrat areas and saw about a dozen cars in those two places combined. The next polling place was, I think, in a mixed area bordering Bartlett, with maybe ten cars outside. By 5:10 I was at the Singleton Community Center in Bartlett (heavy Republican) where there were so many cars that parking had spilled around to the rear of the building. But there wasn’t a line out the door.

Tennessee Politics Blog reports light voting across the state:

With approximately four hours of voting left, turnout reports are light throughout the state. Nathan Moore is reporting turnout around Nashville is light. Likewise, in Knoxville Volunteer TV reports “short lines” this morning in Knoxville, with the average voter taking approximately 5 minutes to vote.

Meanwhile, the Tennessean reports low numbers in a variety of districts: 27 people had voted at a location in Green Hills, only 30 people had voted by 9:45 a.m. at a south Nashville location, slow going at the 15th Street Baptist Church, “somewhat light but steady” at a precinct in Hendersonville, people leaving because of a late opening at Una Baptist Church, and voting finally turning heavy by lunch at Immanuel Baptist Church in Belle Meade. The Davidson County Administrator of Elections said that only two precincts had reported heavy traffic, but that everything was going smoothly with the new voting machines.

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