MOUNT VERNON — Republican voters are leading slightly in early voting in Knox County, with independents close behind.
Knox County Board of Elections Director Kim Horn said as of this morning, early ballots with party registration have come in at 3,211 Republican and 2,999 independent. There have been 1,466 Democrat party registration early ballots cast, for a total of 7,676 ballots as of this morning.
Voter registration in Knox County stands at 42,292. Of those, 13,363 are registered Republicans, 4,291 are registered Democrats, and 24,487 are registered without party affiliation. The rest are Green Party registrations and voters requesting non-party ballots.
Early voting has surpassed the last mid-term election in 2014, but is not expected to top the last presidential election, Horn said, when 14,000 early ballots were cast.
Knox County voters in the 2014 mid-terms cast a total of 17,604 ballots, a voter turn out of 44 percent.
In the 2016 Presidential election, 29,278 ballots were cast of Knox County’s 40,300 registered voters, or 72 percent.
Voter interest could be up because there is more on the ballot than 2014. The 7th District Congressional District race is contested this year, with Republican incumbent Bob Gibbs challenged by Democrat Ken Harbaugh. In 2014, Gibbs ran unopposed. Also, Mount Vernon residents will vote whether to frame a charter for the city government.
The Associated Press reported Saturday that early voting nationally has surpassed 2014, with 30.6 million ballots cast as of Monday. In the 2014 midterm elections, 28.3 million voters cast their ballots prior to election day, according to the AP.