Bob Robinson: No hanging chads here

Published 10:46 am Monday, July 7, 2014

community issues

One thing is certain about the outcome of the write in balloting in the Aug. 7 General and State Primary Election in Carter County. Hanging chads will not determine voter intent as they did in the 2000 presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush in the Sunshine State.

That decision allowed Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris’s previous certification of George W. Bush as the winner of Florida’s 25 electoral votes to stand. Florida’s votes gave Bush, the Republican candidate,

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271 electoral votes, one more than the required 270 electoral votes to win the Electoral College and defeat Democratic candidate Al Gore, who received 266 electoral votes (a District of Columbia elector abstained).

Although Microvote Inc. is the same company that supplied the voting machines to the State of Florida 14 years ago, the technology has improved. According to Carter County Election Commission Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris, Carter County voters will use the Microvote Infinity voting machine. Microvote Infinity is a direct-recording electronic voting machine with a push button interface, according to the Microvote website.

There are four candidates who filed qualifying papers with the Carter County Election Commission to be a write in candidate in the Aug. 7 Carter County General Election.  They are Chris Mathes for sheriff; Jason Shell for road superintendent; Gary Miller for third district constable, and Donna McKinney for circuit court clerk.

Following the May Republican Primary, the Carter County Election Commission canvassing board, consisting of Shelby Ward, Joann Ritchie, Ann Oaks, Ruth Ritchie, Ken Treadway, and Laura Tester, determined that Scott Sams received the minimum 25 write-in votes in the May 6 primary election to be placed on the ballot in the Aug. 7 General Election for a seat on the Carter County Commission.

Applications for absentee ballots will be accepted by the Carter County Election Commission through July 31. Tennesseans age 65 and older have the right under state law to vote absentee by mail. Therefore, these citizens can choose to vote by absentee ballot if they do not have photo identification and do not want to obtain one. Those who do not have a photo ID and need it to vote can also obtain one from the state’s Driver’s License Centers free of charge.

The Carter County General and State Primary Election will be held Aug. 7, 2014. The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 7 election was July 8.

Early voting for the Carter County General and State Primary Election begins Friday, July 18, and continues through Aug. 2.

Poll watchers are appointed by the candidate and the deadline for early voting for August is July 16 at noon. The deadline for Election Day poll watchers is Aug. 5 at noon.

Tennessee law requires each person charged with enforcing the election laws must, before entering upon the performance of his or her duties, take the following oath:  “I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Tennessee, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of my office.”

Compensation is also set by state law. Election officials who attend the instruction school and serve in the election shall receive the sum of $10. An early voting deputy shall receive as compensation for each day spent in such service the same pay as an election official. On Election Day, officers of elections, judges, machine operators and inspectors shall be paid a minimum of $50 for their services on Election Day. The county legislative body may increase the compensation.

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