Early voting numbers show turnout is up so far this election

Published 5:20 pm Monday, April 16, 2018

With a few days of early voting now completed, voter turnout is up for this County Primary Election.

When the polls closed on Monday afternoon, a total of 1,385 votes had been cast since early voting began on Wednesday, April 11. Carter County Administrator of Elections said that number is up when compared to the 2014 County Primary Election, which saw 1,258 voters casting ballots by this point in early voting.

Harris said she is expecting a higher voter turnout for this election compared to the 2014 Primary because of the amount of interest she has seen in this election.

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So far in the early voting process, Harris said she and her staff have not received any complaints regarding election workers, candidates, or campaign workers.

Harris said she had received a request from First Baptist Church, which is allowing the Carter County Election Commission to utilize their parking lot at the corner of Holston Avenue and East G Street as overflow parking for voters. The church has requested that no campaign signs be placed on their property or in their parking lot, Harris said.

“We put up four signs around the perimeter of the lot to let everyone know,” Harris said.

One issue that did come up during early voting was the use of cell phones inside the polling place.

Harris said voters are allowed to utilize their phones to assist them in casting their votes. However, state law prohibits anyone from taking photos of ballots, machines, or a person voting inside the polling place, Harris said.

Early voting is underway and will continue through Thursday, April 26. The polls will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon during the early voting period. Early voting is held at the Carter County Election Commission Office, which is located at 116 Holston Ave., Elizabethton.

While early voting is ongoing, the Election Commission Office is a legal polling place, which means the 100-foot boundary on campaign materials is in effect for the office building as well as the parking area. Campaign materials such as signs, hats, t-shirts, buttons, or campaign literature are not allowed within 100 feet of a polling place under state law.

For more information on early voting or the County Primary Election, or to check your voter registration status, contact the Carter County Election Commission by calling 423-542-1822.