February 5th, 2008
09:01 PM ET
7 years ago

Severe weather in Tenn., Ark. forces early poll closures

Some polling places in Tennessee and Arkansas were forced to close early due to tornadoes.

Some polling places in Tennessee and Arkansas were forced to close early due to tornadoes

NEW YORK (CNN) – The Arkansas and Tennessee secretaries of state were forced to close some polling places earlier than expected Tuesday after several destructive tornadoes tracked through both states.

Tennessee State Elections Director Brook Thompson told CNN that "a couple of precincts" were closed early after "local authorities told us to relocate our workers" to safety. Polling places in McNairy, Tipton, Fayette and Dyer counties were closed around 6:30 p.m. CT (7:30 p.m. ET), Thompson said.

"I don't think this affected a large number of voters," he said. "I think everyone was trying to get home."

Thompson said there is no plan to reopen the polling places, which were scheduled to close at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET).

Natasha Naragon, spokeswoman for the Arkansas secretary of state, told CNN that polling places closed early in Baxter and Craighead counties, while they “have heard reports of several closing in northern Conway County.”

Naragon said that they have not heard any reports of people unable to vote. Polls in Arkansas were scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m. CT (8:30 p.m. ET).

CNN projects that Hillary Clinton won the Arkansas and Tennessee primaries, while Mike Huckabee captured the Arkansas primary.

Related: Watch the tornado touch down in Tennessee

(updated at 9 p.m. with additional reporting)

– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Filed under: Arkansas • Tennessee
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Lynda

    All y'all need to stop taking these things so PERSONALLY. I recognized immediately that Obama supporter didn't actually believe Clinton created a tornado. Get over it, peops. Having lived through Katrina, I know that we often used humor (and still do!) to get through it. I don't think any fun was being made at the expense of the tornado victims in that comment. And frankly, if Hillary is going to play with the big dogs, she needs to be able to get rough and tumble... that goes for her supporters, as well. She is not your china doll to protect. Lighten up, y'all.

    February 5, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  2. jeanette

    Tornado's in Tennessee. Yeah, they kept Obama voters home, but not Clinton voters. That's why she's winning. Think I'll switch the TV and watch "House". Great reporting CNN. Your bias is showing AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    February 5, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. Max Power, Springfeild

    go ron pawl

    February 5, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  4. Paul says

    Clinton may have got more votes in Arkansas, maybe even more in TN.
    I hope all are save in the meantime. CNN keep back pedaling with your prior bias

    February 5, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  5. Paul says

    Clinton may have got more votes in Arkansas, maybe even more in TN.
    I hope all are save in the meantime. CNN keep back pedaling with your prior bias

    February 5, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  6. Dem08

    Hope all you know that 86 people have been injured and there are deaths from this storm. Not such a parody for those people.

    This is a tragic story, and those people who used this for a laugh or a way to bash Clinton are very disturbed and sad people.

    February 5, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. Sandi

    While we trust Lou and Wolf during these political storms, my money is on you to let me know what's happening outside during the weather, wind and very rain storms. Glad you are in the CNN weather center keeping me posted.

    Yours from Arkansas....


    February 5, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  8. sarah

    i voted ron paul, how come he is never mentioned? never his ideals, voting record, name even. i belived media coverage should be equal... this is scandalous!!!!!

    February 5, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. Philip

    The sudden closure of voting stations earlier in Tennessee is by far irresponsible. Such an incident can only be justified in a third World Country where advanced technology is lacking. I think, the Severity level of the Tornado could have been predicted and cautioned. Plans A,B and C could have been worked out.

    February 5, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. KP

    Obama's numbers would have been better in Tennessee if more people in Memphis and West TN had voted simply because that is the region of the state with the largest number of black voters. That is not a racist comment– it is just fact that Middle & East TN have fewer black people living there (M & E TN are also more Republican than Democratic W TN).
    That doesn't mean that only black people vote for Obama, or that black people support only Obama, either. Clinton may have won the state anyway, but the Memphis area, had it not been interrupted by very bad weather, would probably have had more voters for Obama.
    Please pray for the people in the path of these very strong storms.

    February 5, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
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