Lines were out the door at the election office off Amnicola Highway on Wednesday morning as early voting began in Hamilton County.
Charlotte Mullis-Morgan, election administrator, said there has been a surge of people registering to vote in recent weeks.
"It has been young people and older people who have never voted before. We have been inundated," she said.
There were 205,382 people registered to vote in Hamilton County at the time of the presidential election four years ago.
Other early voting sites are the Brainerd Recreation Center, Northgate Mall and Eastwood Baptist Church at 4300 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road in Collegedale.
Most local voters seem fired up about the presidential contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Other races of interest include Todd Gardenhire versus Andrae McGary for state Senate District 10 and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann being opposed by Democrat Mary Headrick.
In House races, Gerald McCormick is opposed by Rodger Cooksey, Richard Floyd by Frank Eaton, JoAnne Favors by Johnny Horne and Vince Dean by Sandy Smith.
East Ridge, Soddy Daisy, Signal Mountain, Walden, Lakesite and Red Bank have elections for city officeholders.
Early voting continues to Nov. 1.
Election day is Nov. 6.
In another election matter, attorney Chris Clem said he has conferred with two city attorneys and two state election office attorneys on a referendum sought by a group from the Westside.
He said it is the opinion of all that the issue is a zoning matter that should be considered by the City Council or Planning Commission and is not a ballot referendum issue.