The Republican Party held the Republican National Convention last week in a storm-drenched Tampa, Fla., and the Democratic Party is holding the Democratic National Convention in the rain in Charlotte, N.C., this week.
While the eyes and ears of the country have been directed to the national celebrations, the Bradley County Elections Office is gearing up for early voting for the presidential race as well as U.S. congressional seats, state representative positions and senatorial races.
Early voting will begin Oct. 17 and will last until Nov. 1.
Regular voting day is set for Nov. 6.
Registration deadline for voting is Oct. 9.
Those voters who will be travelling during the time periods of early voting or election day can also vote absentee via mail.
Military personnel, over-the-road truck drivers, students, caretakers, those voters who may be hospitalized or have other medical issues which would prevent a personal appearance, or those who may be 65 or older can participate by mail ballot.
According to information provided by the Elections Office website, a request must be sent to the Bradley County Elections Office at 155 Broad St. N.W., Cleveland TN, 37311.
The request must include; name, Social Security number, residence address, reason for voting by mail, which election you wish to vote in (including any party preference) where to mail 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.
Fran Green, administrator of elections, said since some of the district and voter identification rules have changed, her office continues to field questions.
The new Voter ID law went into effect earlier this year requiring a photo identification when voting.
Voters in the upcoming election should also take special care in casting their votes in the electronic machines to make certain that their votes are properly recorded. As in the past, election workers will be available at all polling places to provide instructions on how to properly operate the voting machines. Anyone who is unfamiliar with the process should ask a polling place worker for instructions prior to casting votes on the machines.
“A number of voting districts changed recently, and voters need to make sure before pushing the button to cast their ballot that they have filled it completely with their choices,” Green said.
Redistricting included portions of Bradley County in the 10th District, where a Senate vote is upcoming as well as part of Bradley County is now in the 4th Congressional District.
Candidates for this upcoming election are;
- Tennessee House of Representatives District 22 — Eric Watson (R), and Jonathon Gladden (D).
- Tennessee Senate District 10 — Andrea McGary (D), and Todd Gardenhire (R).
- U.S. House 3rd Congressional District — Chuck Fleischmann (R), and Dr. Mary Headrick.
- U.S. House 4th Congressional District — Eric Stewart (D) and Scott DesJarlais.
- U.S. Senate — Bob Corker (R) and Gary G. Davis (D).
- U.S. President — Barack Obama (D) and Mitt Romney (R). Obama’s vice-presidential running mate is incumbent Joseph Biden and Romney’s running mate is Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.
Hours for Early Voting when it begins this fall 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 ID, redistricting or any other issue can contact the Bradley County Elections Office at 728-7115.