Knoxville Elections Likely to Draw Slim Crowd

Nov 5, 2013

Credit WUOT, Matt Shafer Powell

Don't be surprised if you mention Election Day and receive a blank stare in return. Knox County election officials are expecting low turnout for Tuesday's slate of five city council races. Only two of the five have drawn viable opponents.

The highest-profile race will be the fourth district, which covers North Knoxville. There, incumbent Nick Della Volpe will fight a challenge from Rick Staples. Della Volpe's call for city pension reform drew the ire of groups representing Knoxville's police and fire departments. Their frustration could translate into support for Staples.

In the sixth district, Pete Drew will challenge former mayor Daniel Brown.

Neither race is expected to be a polling station blockbuster. Just 1,300 voters cast a ballot in October's two-week early voting period. Knox County Election Administrator Cliff Rogers predicts turnout for the general election could total 3,000 to 5,000. Estimates say there are more than 105-thousand registered voters in Knoxville.