Residents voting early in primaries
By Eddie West
Going into this week, almost 400 residents had voted early in the first ever county Democratic and Republican primary elections.
During two and one-half days of early voting, 393 residents voted early, last week.
Early voting in the May election started on Wednesday (April 13) when 148 residents voted.
The number of voters increased on Thursday (April 14) when 179 residents voted.
After the Good Friday holiday, voting resumed for a half-day on Saturday (April 16) with 66 residents voting early.
There are approximately 12,650 registered voters in Smith County.
Since this is the first ever primary elections at the county level, it’s difficult to judge whether the turn out so far has been low, moderate or high.
The election is of significance to voters because two full-time county offices—the race for sheriff and the race for county mayor—will essentially be decided in the May election.
Including those offices, only four races are contested and all four are in the Republican Primary Election.
In addition to sheriff and county mayor, there is a two person race for the Republican nomination for trustee and the District 5 (Gordonsville) county commission race.
No races are contested in the Democratic Primary Election. Two candidates are running as Democratic candidates. The two are seeking county commission seats in different districts. Both will move on to the August County General Election.
Since there are no contested Democratic races, its obvious residents will vote overwhelmingly in the Republican Primary Election.
All registered voters are eligible to vote in the Republican Primary Election. In Tennessee, residents do not register to vote as a Republican or Democrat and can participate in either primary election.
Since this is a primary election, voters must chose to vote in the Republican Primary Election or the Democratic Primary Election.
Early voting continues through April 28.
Election Day is May 3.
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