Slow start to local early voting

By AUTUMN HUGHES
Posted 2/13/20

Early voting in Bradley County got off to a slow start Wednesday, but there are still 10 more days to cast ballots in the Presidential Preference Primary and Bradley County Primary elections.

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Slow start to local early voting

Posted

Early voting in Bradley County got off to a slow start Wednesday, but there are still 10 more days to cast ballots in the Presidential Preference Primary and Bradley County Primary elections.

“It’s very slow,” Fran Green, Bradley County’s administrator of elections, said Wednesday afternoon.

By 4:15 p.m., Green said 258 people had voted early in Bradley County. She noted weather may have been a contributing factor to the low turnout on the first day of early voting.

Early voting will continue through Tuesday, Feb. 25; however, there will be no early voting on Presidents’ Day which is Monday, Feb. 17. Voters may cast their ballots during early voting Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For those who don’t choose early voting, Election Day will be Tuesday, March 3.

Three early-voting locations are available in Bradley County:

• Bradley County Election Commission Office, 155 Broad St. N.W., in downtown Cleveland in the Courthouse Annex building;

• Bradley Square Mall, 200 Paul Huff Parkway N.W., Suite 612, in the former Bath & Body Works store; and

• The former BB&T Bank building, 2375 McGrady Drive S.E., between Advance Auto and Walgreens.

Green said the newest early voting location, the former BB&T Bank building, had seen a smooth first day of balloting. However, there were some questions regarding the polling place at the mall.

“We’ve always moved around the mall to whatever suite is open,” Green said, but the change in location from the 2018 elections has been complicated by the recent change in operating hours at the mall.

In the last election cycle, the mall opened for business at 10 a.m. and opened for walkers at 9 a.m. — the polls also open at 9. However, Green said the mall now opens for business at 11 a.m., for walkers at 10 a.m., and at 9 a.m. for early voting.

Green said anyone wanting to take advantage of early voting “has to go in the back door before 10 o’clock.” From 9 to 10 a.m., early voters need to use the door by OK Maguey restaurant, on the movie theater side of the mall.

Voters should bring a valid photo identification to vote, this includes a driver’s license, a photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security or a passport. College student IDs are not acceptable.

In the Presidential Preference Primary, Republican candidates on the ballot are President Donald Trump, Joe Walsh (who dropped out after meeting Tennessee’s filing deadline) and Bill Weld. Democratic candidates listed on the Tennessee ballot are Michael Bennet, Joseph Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.

Some Democratic candidates — Bennet, Booker, Castro, Delaney, Patrick, Williamson and Yang — have recently suspended their campaigns.

Along with casting votes for the U.S. president candidates, voters will also be choosing delegates for each.

In the Bradley County Primary, the lone candidate is incumbent Assessor of Property Stanley M. Thompson, who faces no opposition in the Republican Primary. No candidates qualified for the ballot in the Democratic Primary.

For more information about early voting for the March 3 elections, call the Bradley County Election Commission at 738-7115 or visit www.bradleyelections.com.

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