Early voting starts strong in West Knoxville

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The polls are now open for those wanting to cast their votes early in the 2016 presidential race. There have been some lines across Knox County at a few polling locations, but the process seems to be going smoothly in our area.

Many voters say picking a candidate wasn’t easy this year. As soon as the doors opened at Downtown West the line started forming. Hundreds of people will cast their ballot at this location on the first day of early voting. They have made their decision before the final presidential debate Wednesday night.

“I’m just tired of all the rhetoric and I just wanted to cast my vote,” said Deidre Diener.

Diener says she is an independent and this year is voting for Hillary Clinton.

“It was very easy. As soon as I saw the first debate I knew,” said Diener.

Related: East Tennessee early voting locations, hours

Led and Linda Gardner say they don’t even want to watch the final debate and making a decision about who to vote for wasn’t easy. Led Gardner even surprised his wife with who he cast his vote for.

“It was difficult. We toed the line,” said Linda Gardner.

“We vote Republican normally but I went off the reservation,” said Led Garnder. Linda Garner responded, “I didn’t know that!”

James Rickett says both candidates have flaws, but he will be voting for Trump based on his stance on several issues.

“We need more conservatives in the court. Constitutionalists. We do need security on our borders. We do need vetting of immigrants coming in from hostile countries,” said James Rickett.

Mother of three Alicia Atteberry says she is an independent and this year is voting Democrat.

“I felt like there was no way I could support Donald Trump because of the awful comments he said about women,” said Alicia Atteberry.

Early voting at the Downtown West location early voting ends at 6 p.m. for the day and the poll workers say they expected between 900 and 1,100 voters to come to this location and cast their ballot. Even though there were lines, there was only a short wait at Downtown West. Most voters say they were in line and done voting within 15 minutes and that everything went smoothly.

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