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Are you registered to vote?

BY BRITTNEE NAVE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
Early voting begins Oct. 14.
The early voting period will take place from Oct. 14-29. Polls will be open during this time Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. This will take place at the Carter County Election Commission Office.
With preparations for early voting to kickoff, Tracy Tanner-Harris, Administrator of Elections, says she is expecting a large turnout.
“They’re saying on the news that this is going to be the biggest election in history,” she said. “By the registrations, I’d believe it.”
The number of registered voters in Carter County in 2016 was 33,583. Now, there are 36,463 registered voters, and there are still more needing to be registered as of Oct. 12.
“I think we will have more voters turnout this year than we did in 2016,” Tanner-Harris said.
Tanner-Harris spoke of the benefits of early voting.
“There are shorter lines,” she said. “It’s easier to get it over with.”
According to Tanner-Harris, more and more people opt to early vote with each election. She attributes this to many not wanting long wait times, as she described.
Election Day will be on Nov. 3. Polls will open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Those who choose to vote on this day will need to go to their assigned precincts.
The deadline to request an absentee voting by mail ballot will be Oct. 27. Requests to vote by mail must be done so in writing with the voter’s signature.
Requests can be hand-delivered or mailed to the Carter County Election Commission. People can call to have a request mailed to them as well.
Mail-in ballots must be sent back to the Election Commission by Nov. 3 and have to be sent through the mail. Ballots cannot be dropped off in-person.
There are certain criteria that must be met to qualify to request a mail-in ballot. A full list of these requirements can be found on the Election Commission’s website.
There will be more to vote on than just the Presidency. Local and state elections are also included.
Local elections include the following:
City of Elizabethton
City Judge
City Councilman
School Board
City of Watauga
City Commissioner
City of Johnson City
City Commissioner
School Board
Carter County
County Commissioner District 7
State elections include the following:
United States Senate
United States House of Representatives District 1
Tennessee Senate District 4
Tennessee House of Representatives District 3
Tennessee House of Representatives District 4
Tanner-Harris stressed that voting for local and state elections are just as important as the presidential.
“If people want someone in office they can call and talk to for voicing concerns, that’s their best bet,” she said. “That will affect them daily here, locally.”
Overall, Tanner-Harris said the aspect of voting itself is crucial in making sure your voice is heard.
For more information and a detailed list of requirements for mail-in ballots, or deadlines, go to https://www.cartercountytn.gov/government/departments-services/election-office/ or call 423-542-1822.