|Election 2012: Election Commission gets set for voters|
|Thursday, June 21, 2012|
Sumner County Election Commission is gearing up for the August elections and opened and inspected all provisional and absentee ballot boxes at its recent regular monthly meeting to ensure they were empty.
Election Commission appointees – Republicans and Democrats – then locked the boxes with red and blue locks under their respective personal key control. State law does not allow Administrator of Elections Lori Atchley access to those blue and red keys.
Accountable numeric red, blue and yellow seals were added to the individual box security measures. Red is for Republican, blue is for Democrat and yellow allows election workers access to insert ballots if and when received before delivery to the Counting Board on Election Day. The boxes are now securely stored with controlled access, ready for use in the Aug. 2 County General Election and State and Federal Primary Elections.
Voters who cast provisional ballots under the new Voter Photo ID law have two days after Election Day to produce proper identification to the Election Office. Noting that the Aug. 2 election falls on a Thursday which might cause some confusion among those using provisional ballots, Atchley clarified that it meant two business days, not calendar days.
Chairman Art McClellan said it was important to continue to “try to educate voters to make sure their vote counts.” Voters are reminded it is best to bring proper identification to vote. If a voter does cast a provisional ballot, the Counting Board will not count that vote unless the voter complies with state law by presenting the proper ID to the Election Office within the stated time period. Information is available at http://www.votesumnertn.org/
Atchley updated the commission on office and election equipment and software acquisition and upgrades that are now under way. She indicated Sumner County Commission unanimously approved her budget transfer requests to fund the technology modernization in the current budget year.
The Election Commission unanimously approved moving the County Administration Building precinct location to Howard Elementary on Long Hollow Pike. Atchley said there had been some confusion with closing other offices at the Administration Building on Election Day.
In addition, technical difficulties arose from too much light from the dome there affecting visibility on the voting machine screens. Howard, she said, is a wonderful location with ample parking, including disabled access, and with a large gym.
The commission unanimously approved the appointment of 258 election officials and inspectors. Atchley provided an update on her efforts to recruit additional election workers, including reducing the average age of workers and finding more Democrats for a better balance and added she had talked with Sumner County Democratic Party Chairman Charles Ihrig about the party helping with recruitment.
Commissioner Barbara Brake, a Republican appointee, termed the effort to achieve balance “trail-blazing.”
The Corker Challenge
Atchley also noted she tried to recruit workers during the Democratic gathering at The Pizza Machine on the Gallatin Square for U.S. Senate candidate Park Overall. Overall is an actress who is a candidate for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker in November. Overall faces six other candidates in the Democratic primary: Mark Clayton, Larry Crim, Gary Davis, Dave Hancock, Ashley King and Benjamin Roberts.
Corker faces four challengers in his own Republican Primary: Fred Anderson, Mark Twain Clemens, Brenda S. Lenard and Zach Poskevich. Poskevich is from Hendersonville.
As of March 31, Corker had reported raising about $12.5 million with $8 million cash on hand. In addition, Corker has his own considerable personal fortune that he can quickly tap.
The other 11 primary candidates from both parties plus five independents without primaries have raised a combined total of around $140,000, according to an online inspection in May of Federal Election Commission filings through 1Q 2012. A Knoxville News-Sentinel summary report Sunday by Tom Humphrey reported the same conclusion. The 2Q 2012 FEC report is due in July.
Early voting July 13-28
Early voting runs July 13-28. Early voting will be held at the Election Office Monday through Friday during normal office hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on all three Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. On nine days, five satellite locations at Goodlettsville, Hendersonville, Portland, Westmoreland and White House will offer limited hours for the convenience of early voters. The schedule of dates, times, and locations is available at http://www.votesumnertn.org/getdoc/e36976b0-45bd-4e36-b9ee-150f876bdc78/AUG2012EVCALENDAR.aspx .
By Jesse Hughes