Super Tuesday voting in Tennessee impacted by deadly tornadoes

It's the fourth time in 87 years that a tornado touched down on Super Tuesday.

March 3, 2020, 8:09 PM

Super Tuesday voters in Tennessee were rerouted to other polling stations after deadly tornadoes ripped through the state.

Tre Hargett, the Tennessee secretary of state, announced that "due to street closures, power outages as well as public safety concerns" polling stations in Davidson and Wilson counties opened an hour late.

Every polling location in Davidson County will be open until at least 8 p.m. CT -- one hour later than planned -- and five sites in east Tennessee are open until 10 p.m. CT, according to the Tennessee Democratic Party.

Three tornadoes were reported in Tennessee, including in the downtown Nashville area and the suburb of Mount Juliet.

Faith Patton looks over buildings destroyed by storms, March 3, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.
Mark Humphrey/AP

Twenty-four people were killed in the deadly storms, according to officials at the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, who had earlier Tuesday reported that the death toll was 25.

Police officers and fire crews responded to about 40 building collapses around the city, Metro Nashville police said.

President Donald Trump said he was sending "prayers for all those affected."

The overnight tornadoes have caused voters in impacted areas to go to alternate polling locations.

Jeff Roberts, administrator of elections in Nashville’s Davidson County, said about 18 to 19 polling stations “could be damaged” and are no longer accessible to voters.

Nashville’s election offices have notified voters they could go to other sites to cast their votes because “trees and power poles have blocked streets,” Roberts said. “We are trying to create options for voters so they don’t miss the opportunity to vote in Davidson County.”

A man looks over buildings destroyed by storms, March 3, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.
Mark Humphrey/AP

Voters can also go to the election commission office to cast their ballot if they encounter problems on their route, according to the Tennessean newspaper.

Tennessee is one of 14 states voting in the Super Tuesday elections.

Hargett urged voters on his social media accounts to call "our toll-free number in case of issues today. 1-877-850-4959."

Voters whose polling stations have been affected can find where to go to cast their ballot here.

This wasn't the first time a tornado impacted Super Tuesday voting in Tennessee. According to the National Weather Service, tornadoes struck the 5 Points area of East Nashville on Super Tuesday in 1933, 1998 and 2008.

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