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Elections drawing close… It’s time to start making plans to go vote

BY BRITTNEE NAVE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
 
The November elections are fast approaching with the biggest decision on the ballot is in electing a president to serve for the next four years.
 
With the election now less than two months away, deadlines are coming up, and soon. Those wishing to vote in the November election must register by October 5. 
 
Tracy Tanner-Harris, Carter County Administrator of Elections, stressed that getting out and voting is important. 
 
“Actually do it,” she said. “Get out there and do it.”
 
Early voting will be taking place from Oct. 14-29. 
 
Polls open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. During early voting, people go to the Election Commission Office to do so.
 
After early voting, those wishing to vote will need to do so on Election Day at their designated precincts. 
 
In addition to the presidential nominees and state officials, local officials will also be on the ballot for individuals to cast their votes on. 
 
In the past, first-time voters and older voters have been photographed at the Election Commission Office for their Facebook page. Harris hopes to continue this.
 
“If anyone who comes in and says it’s their first time voting, or if they’re an elderly voter, we try to take their picture,” she explained. 
 
While wearing a mask inside the office is not mandatory, it remains encouraged. Those working in the office do wear masks.
 
Social distancing is practiced with people being given their own disposable pen for use and disinfectant is on hand as well. 
 
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 27.
 
In August, poll workers were needed. Harris said this need is for November as well. Workers can now be 16 and 17 years old. Those 18 years and older must be registered voters in Carter County. 
 
Harris said there is no set number of people needed for working the polls.
 
“We need all the help we can get,” she said. “You never know when an emergency is going to come up, so the more we have the better.”
 
Guidelines regarding absentee ballots and other general questions can be found at https://www.cartercountytn.gov/government/departments-services/election-office/.
 
Those wishing to register to vote can do so by going to www.govotetn.gov or contact the Election Commission Office at 423-542-1823.