Weather dampens otherwise high early voting turnout
Published 10:39 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Despite inclement weather, turnout during the first week of early voting has been good, with an exception for Monday’s weather, according to the Carter County Election Commission.
Early voting kicked off on Feb. 10 with 127 showing up to cast their ballots. Turnout each day remained good through the first four days, but on Monday those numbers declined.
Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris believes the low turnout on Monday was largely due to the freezing weather as snow blanketed the area and forecasters were predicting freezing rain and ice to accumulate. Other voters may not have been aware the polls were open as Monday was President’s Day, and many government offices were closed.
“We’ve done pretty good considering the weather,” Harris said. “Well, except for today,” she added with a laugh.
Thursday, Feb. 11, saw the highest voter turnout for early voting thus far in this election cycle, as 206 residents cast their ballots.
In all, more than 715 Carter Countians have cast their ballots either through early or absentee voting so far.
The 1st, 7th and 8th Districts of Carter County have seen the highest voter turnout so far. A total of 117 residents from the 1st District have already voted as have 118 residents of the 7th District and 117 from the 8th District.
So far, during early voting, residents have voted all across the county.
Appearing on the ballot during this election are the Republican and Democratic Presidential preference primary Elections as well as county Republican primary elections. No candidates for county offices filed to run as Democrats, Harris said.
Local offices on the primary ballot include the Assessor of Property, Circuit Court Judge and races for two unexpired terms on the Carter County Commission — one each for the 1st and 3rd Districts.
The current Assessor of Property Ronnie Taylor was the only candidate to qualify for the Assessor or Property race.
James Lauderback was the only candidate to seek election to the Circuit Court Judge position.
In the County’s 3rd District, residents will select a new commissioner to replace Beth Depew, who resigned from her seat in 2015. The only candidate to qualify for that position was Bradley Johnson, who was appointed by the full County Commission to fill the seat until an election could be held.
The unexpired term for the 1st District seat on the County Commission is the only contested race on the local primary ballot. That race will see Dr. Robert Acuff, Robert “Bob” Robinson Jr., and Michael Warren face off to fill the seat for the remaining two years of the term. The seat is currently held by Acuff, who the full Commission appointed to represent the 1st District until the election could be held.
Early voting will continue Monday-Saturday from now until Tuesday, Feb. 23. Polls are open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday.
Those wishing to participate in early voting are asked to bring their state of Tennessee or federally-issued photo identification with them to the polls. Early voting is being held at the Carter County Election Commission office, located at 116 Holston Ave., Elizabethton.
Election Day is March 1, and voters who did not participate in early voting can cast their ballots on that day at their designated precincts. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m .on Election Day.
For more information, contact the Election Commission at 423-542-1822.