Tuesday was the biggest day early voters turned out in Bradley County with 1,153 casting ballots.
Early voting total was 4,876. During the 2008 Presidential Preference, 6,119 voters cast early ballots, according to data provided by the Bradley County Elections Office.
During the monthly meeting of the Bradley County Election Commission Monday, Theba Hamilton introduced the newest member of the commission, Travis Henry.
Henry, an attorney with Burns, Henry and Kirksey, took the seat after Adam Lewis resigned due to an occupational change.
Lewis volunteered to maintain the bradleyelections.com and social media Facebook sites and the commission accepted and approved that offer through a unanimous vote.
Lewis will continue to follow guidelines and language which had been put in place regarding the website and social media, according to Hamilton and the other commissioners.
Commissioners also want to remind candidates regarding the 100-foot rule and campaign signage.
“We are going to be monitoring all precincts during the election to make sure no one is breaking the 100-foot rule,” said Steve Crump.
After the meeting, Bradley County Elections Administrator Fran Green took the opportunity to cast her ballot early, producing her photo ID.
“The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is encouraging voters this week to obtain photo IDs for voting purposes at no cost before the Tennessee Presidential Primary elections on March 6,” according to DHS media information. “The department will open certain driver service centers across the state this Saturday for voter photo identification issuance only. March 3 will be the last opportunity for registered voters to take advantage of this special Saturday service.”
March 12 will be the final day TDSHS and county clerks will issue voter IDs at no cost.
“We have made great efforts over the past several months to make photo IDs accessible to register voters who need them,” according to a press statement by TDSHS Commissioner Bill Gibbons. “I urge anyone still needing a photo ID for voting purposes to take advantage of our final Saturday service this weekend or visit one of the participating county clerk offices before Election Day. We want voters to be prepared when they head to the polls on March 6.”
A new state law requires citizens to present a federal or state-issued photo ID to vote at the polls. The law also requires the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to issue photo IDs for voting purposes at no charge. Since July 1, 2011, the department has issued 17,067 photo IDs for voting purposes. The vast majority were non-photo driver’s licenses converted into photo driver’s licenses, while 868 were original photo identification cards.
“The Department of Safety and Homeland Security has gone the extra mile to provide photo IDs for Tennesseans who need them by offering Saturday hours and partnering with county clerks across the state. I hope Tennesseans who don’t have valid IDs will take advantage of the opportunity to get IDs made free of charge,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Also, I encourage people who are unsure whether they already have valid IDs to visit www.GoVoteTN.com or call toll free 1-877-850-4959.”
Bradley County’s Tennessee Driver Services Center is among those centers participating.
The local center will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Polk County will be providing the photo ID at no charge through March 12, according to Jennifer Donnals, media information rep.
After March 12, IDs can be obtained but a county fee to provide the service may be charged. Donnals said no state fees will be charged for the IDs but each county clerk’s office which provides the service will possibly place a charge.