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Knoxville – Early voting in the presidential race has ended in Tennessee. And a University of Tennessee political scientist says that early voting seems to be popular with voters.

“The overall turnout in Tennessee is still somewhat of an unknown,” said Dr. Bill Lyons, “but there-s been a real upsurge in early voting, especially in Knox County.”

Early voting in Knox County has surpassed the 50,000 mark in this election, surpassing the previous record of 43,000 votes in the 1996 presidential election.

Lyons said the biggest advantage offered by early voting is convenience.

“Research shows a lot of the motivation for early voting comes from being able to avoid long lines at the voting booth,” Lyons said. “Early voting does not usually draw people who otherwise might not vote.”

Early voting has been available in Tennessee, Texas and several other states in the Southeastern United States in the last decade. Lyons said improvements in computer technology also made early voting quicker and easier than in the past.