Election commission appoints precinct workers for Aug. 5

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   In preparation for the Aug. 5 county general election and state primary, the Carter County Election Commission appointed more than 180 precinct workers to monitor the county's polling places at its meeting Monday.
   The five-member commission selects members at random based on voters who indicate a willingness to serve as an election day volunteer on his or her voter registration form. Commissioners are tasked to appoint an officer of elections, three judges, not less than two registrars.
   The local election slate on the Aug. 5 ballot includes the County Assessor of Property's office, four County School Board seats, one City Council seat and two seats in the city of Watauga.
   The state primary includes selection of the Republican nominee for the 4th Legislative District of the Tennessee House of Representatives and the Democratic state executive committeewoman's seat for the 3rd Senatorial District. Pamela Harris is the current Democratic state executive committeewoman.
   State law requires a county Election Commission to appoint one registrar to represent the majority political party in the state, and one registrar to represent the minority party. State law expects an election commission to appoint all workers in each precinct as equally as possible between the two major parties in the state of Tennessee.
   State law reads that at least one of the judges should be of the same political party as the officer of election and two of the judges should be of the opposite political party.
   The county's 21 polling precincts are divided throughout eight voting districts. Early voting is counted as a precinct. The voter registration deadline for the August election is July 6. Citizens planning to vote must register with the Administrator of Election's office either in person or by mailing a voter registration form postmarked on or before July 6.
   State election law also calls for the County Election Commission to schedule training school for workers before each election. State law prohibits any person from being certified to work at any poll on election day who has not previously attended a school.
   The absentee in person, or early voting, period begins July 16 and extends July 31. Citizens wishing to vote absentee by mail can request a by-mail ballot by writing to the Election Commission office. Absentee by mail voters must meet a set of criteria explaining why they are unable to vote in person such as due to service in the U.S. military, living overseas, suffering from debilitating illness or age.
   By-mail voters can request an absentee ballot no earlier than 90 days before the election and no later than seven days before the election. Upon receipt of the request, the local Election Commission will mail an application for ballot to the voter.