Early voting is up in county, and that’s a good sign

Published 10:21 am Monday, October 29, 2018

Early voting is up – way up – in Tennessee for the November election, which is less than two weeks away, and that is a good sign.
The data shows a dramatic rise in the number of voters casting ballots ahead of the Nov. 6 Election Day compared to last year. Voting numbers, thus far, have shattered the state’s past two midterm numbers and were not far behind Tennessee’s pace set during the 2016 presidential election.
The increase in the number of persons voting early suggests voters are energized to turn out for the 2018 midterms. Typically, there is a significant drop in voter interest in non-presidential election years, but many on both sides see a referendum on the Trump agenda and the recent Kavanaugh hearings as motivators.
Countywide, more than 5,970 ballots had been cast at the end of the day Oct. 25.
Regardless of the motivation, voting in all elections, not just the big ticket ones, is one of the pillars of good citizenship. We applaud Tennesseans, especially Carter Countians. for their efforts to cast their ballots,
In Carter County, the office of elections on Holston Avenue will be open for early voting through Nov. 1. Early voting hours are from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon during the early voting period. Voters are asked to bring their state or federal issued photo identification when coming to vote.
It has been said that people are more tend to vote if they are dissatisfied, angry or in a mood to protest. If that’s true, the turnout on Nov. 6 will be impressive.
Polls suggest a tight race in the Tennessee Senate race between former Gov. Phil Bredesen and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. However, the only poll that counts is the one taken on the first Tuesday of November. (Remember “Dewey Defeats Truman” or “Everyone says Clinton Is Going to Wallop Trump”?)
Both parties have been raking in the money in support of their candidates at all levels of American government, and to hear them talk they need even more.
Think money can’t buy elections? Think again. One way or the other, money buys votes. It buys various forms of advertising as well as telemarketing, and these get the word out.
Long before he became the first president of the United States, George Washington learned first-hand that money can buy an election … if it is used to purchase liquor and give it free to potential voters.
The first time Washington ran for the Virginia legislature, he took the moral high ground and refused to ply the electorate with booze. His opponent took the moral low ground and won the election, 271 votes to 41.
The next time around, Washington bought 28 gallons of rum, 50 gallons of rum punch, 34 gallons of wine, 46 gallons of beer and 2 gallons of cider royal. He spent 50 pounds sterling (Virginia was still a British colony) and thought it wasn’t enough — but it was. Out of the 391 people who drank Washington’s hooch, 331 voted for him, and he won in a landslide.
We hope that this energy continues into 2020 and beyond. Regardless of where one falls on the political spectrum, voter apathy is a plague on all fronts and is not what our nation stands for.
Please, get out and vote. It is our civic duty.

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