Early votes now 7,160
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Oct 22, 2012 | 2093 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Only four days into early voting, Cleveland and Bradley County residents have kept the trio of voting satellite locations busy with Saturday having seen the lowest one-day turnout so far, with a still-significant 973 ballots cast.

According to officials at the Bradley County Election Commission Office, 7,160 (including absentee) votes have been cast during the four early voting days.

Only 95 votes were cast at the office Saturday, possibly due to the Cleveland Apple Festival which was held around the Courthouse Square during the weekend.

Fran Green, elections administrator, continues to receive requests for absentee ballots.

More than 600 absentee ballots have been mailed out so far as early voting for federal and state offices got under way Wednesday.

The first day, 2,331 voters took advantage of being able to cast their ballots early.

Three polling locations are available for Bradley County and Cleveland residents to cast their votes.

Early voting will continue through Nov. 1, with Nov. 6 being Election Day and the day those votes will be tallied.

Early voting sites include the Bradley County Election Commission Office, Bradley Square Mall in the conference center between Kay’s Jewelers and JCPenney, and the Bi-Lo Store located at the corner of McGrady Drive and APD 40. The Mobile Voting Precinct is set up in the parking lot.

Voters who may be traveling or those with medical issues can still request a mail ballot until Oct. 30, according Green.

According to information provided by the Elections Office, a request for such a ballot must be sent to the Bradley County Elections Office at 155 Broad St. N.W., Cleveland TN 37311, by Oct. 30. The request must include: name, Social Security number, address, reason for voting by mail, which election you wish to vote in (including any party preference), where to mail a ballot out of county and your signature.

Officials indicated if the request is incomplete, an official application must be mailed and returned to the office before a ballot can be processed.

Green said the ballots must be returned to the elections office by the regular Election Day, Nov. 6.

Election workers will be available at all polling places to provide instructions on how to properly operate the voting machines.

Voters who may be unfamiliar with the process should ask a polling place worker for instructions prior to casting votes on the machines.

“Voters are asking questions and making sure they have the correct ballot and they have voted properly,” Green said.

Voters in the upcoming election should also take care when casting their votes in the electronic machines to make certain their votes are properly recorded.

Election workers will be available at all polling places to provide instructions on how to properly operate the voting machines.

Hours for early voting are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Anyone with questions regarding absentee balloting, Voter IDs, or any other issue may contact the Bradley County Election Commission Office at 728-7115.