There are just two days left – today and tomorrow (Nov. 2-3) – for early voting in next Tuesday’s (Nov. 8) general election.
Since early voting began Oct. 19, 8,441 people had cast their ballots through Monday (Oct. 31), according to the Anderson County Election Commission.
That’s down about 40-percent from the total of registered voters who had cast their ballots during the same period of early voting in the last midterm election, in 2018. By this time that year, 12,583 people had cast early ballots, according to Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett.
The ballot includes municipal and Tennessee statewide races, and early voting will continue through Thursday, Nov. 3.
There are three early-voting locations:
• Anderson County Fair Association Building, 218 Nave St., Clinton;
• Midtown Community Center, 102 Robertsville Road, Oak Ridge; and
• Anderson Crossing Shopping Center, 3310 Andersonville Highway, Norris/Andersonville.
Voting hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday. The polls are closed on Sundays.
The various municipal elections include those for Clinton mayor and three City Council members; all five Norris City Council positions; Rocky Top mayor and two of four City Council positions; four Oak Ridge City Council positions; Oliver Springs mayor and two alderman positions; three Clinton Board of Education positions; and three Oak Ridge Board of Education positions.
Statewide, the governor’s race is on the ballot, along with each district’s representative to the U.S. House of Representatives; Tennessee House of Representative candidates; and state Senate candidates.
Four Constitutional amendments are on the statewide ballot, including one that ensures the right to work without joining a labor union; one that officially makes slavery illegal in Tennessee; one that would elevate the speaker of the state Senate, and then the speaker of the state House, to act as governor in the case of the governor’s inability to serve; and one that would repeal a Constitutional amendment now in place that prohibits ministers of the Gospel or or priests from holding seats in the state General Assembly.
In Anderson County, there is a measure for voters to approve or reject the county’s move to a charter form of government.
There are no contested council races in Norris, as there are only five candidates running for the five council seats, which are up for election every two years. One current councilman, Robert Sain, is not running. Taking his place will be Charles P. Nicholson, who is now chairman of the Norris Tree Commission.
Returning to the Norris council with no opposition are Chris Mitchell, who also serves as mayor (appointed by the council); Bill Grieve, who also serves as vice mayor (also a council appointment); Loretta Painter; and Will Grinder.
In Rocky Top, Kerry Templin is challenging longtime Mayor Timothy Sharp. There are two of the four City Council positions on the ballot, with incumbents Retha (Denise) Casteel and Tony Devaney facing three challengers: Richard Dawson, Jeff Gilliam and Mack Bunch.
Gilliam and Bunch have aligned themselves with Templin, and if all three are elected, they would have a majority hold on the council.
In Clinton, Zack Farrar is challenging incumbent Scott Burton for the mayor’s post.
Clinton City Council candidates are David W. Queener and Vicki Violette, seeking the Ward 1 seat; Brian D. Hatmaker, running unopposed in Ward 2; and Wendy Maness, Harper M. Maxwell, and Mitchell “Shoney” Wolfe running for one seat in Ward 3.
In Oliver Springs, Jason Stiltner is challenging incumbent Omer Cox for mayor, while Robert L. Miller Sr. is running unopposed for alderman in Ward 1, and Jeffery Bass is unopposed in Ward 2. No candidate qualified to run for the Ward 4 seat. Stiltner now holds the Ward 4 seat. The other three wards are not on the ballot this year.
In Clinton, there are no challengers to the incumbents for the three open Board of Education seats. Anderson County Election Administrator Mark Stephens reminds voters that “state law requires that the polling place be a political-free zone when you go there. If someone comes in wearing anything that is political in any fashion, we will ask the voter to remove that. Most people will comply.” The ban does not include American flags, though, Stephens said.
Also, no campaign materials or advertisements are allowed “within 100 feet of the entrance or inside the polling location.”
Up-to-date information on early voting may be found on the Election Commission’s Facebook page (facebook.com/andersoncountyelectioncommission) or on the commission’s website (acelect.com/).
No tallies from early voting will begin until election day, Stephens said.