BY DAVID FISHER
WEAKLEY COUNTY (October 6) — Due to sharp differences in the political ideologies among Democratic, Republican and Independent candidates, voter turnout in the November 3 Federal, State and County Election promises to be one of the largest in history.
Candidates appearing on the ballot are as follows:
In the presidential race, President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are running on the Republican ticket.
Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden, who served as vice president under President Barack Obama, as well as the U.S. Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009, and his vice presidential running mate Kamala D. Harris, U. S. junior senator from California, seek to unseat the president.
Independent presidential and vice presidential candidates respectively on the ballot are: Don Blankenship and William Mohr; Roque “Rocky” De la Fuente and Darcy G. Robinson; Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker; Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen; Allison Kennedy and Malcolm Jarrett; Gloria La Riva and Sunil Freeman; and Kanye West and Michelle Tidwell.
In other federal races, a broad field of candidates are vying for the United States Senate post, soon to be vacated by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, who announced he would not seek another term in 2020. They are:
● Bill Hagerty (Republican)
● Marquita Bradshaw (Democrat)
Independent candidates for the U.S. Senate are:
● Yomi “Fapas
● Jeffrey Alan Grunau
● Ronnie Henley
● G. Dean Hill
● Steven J. Hooper
● Aaron James
● Elizabeth McLeod
● Kacey Morgan
● Eric William Stansberry
A U.S. senator’s term of office is for six years, and approximately one-third of the total membership of the Senate is elected every two years. Since Marsha Blackburn was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018, and is currently serving her first term representing the State of Tennessee, she will not be up for re-election until 2024.
In the U.S. House of Representatives 8th District race, the following candidates are listed on the November 3 ballot:
● David Kustoff (Republican) incumbent
● Erica Stotts Pearson (Democrat)
● Jon Dillard (Independent)
● James Hart (Independent)
Those running for the Tennessee State Senate 24th District seat are: Incumbent John D. Stevens (Republican) of Huntingdon; and Independent candidate Yahweh Yahweh from Gibson County.
In the race for the 76th District in the Tennessee State House of Representatives, candidates appearing on the ballot are: Tandy Darby (Republican) and Jeffery T. Washburn (Independent). No Democratic candidates qualified to be on the August 6 ballot for the 76th District State House post.
The seat is being vacated by State Representative Andrew “Andy” Holt (Republican) of Dresden, who announced he is not seeking another term of office in the state legislature after 10 years of service. The 38-year-old state representative said he is leaving office after the November General Election.
All candidates in local municipal elections are running as Independents.
In municipal races, those seeking one of the three alderman-at-large positions up for grabs on the Dresden City Board (4-year terms) are: incumbents – Joyce A. Hurt, Kenneth W. Moore and Willie J. Parker; and challenger Ralph W. Cobb.
Numerous candidates are seeking seats on the Gleason City Board. Candidates for the office of mayor (4-year term) are incumbent Diana Poole and challenger Charles E. Anderson. Candidates for the four at-large aldermen seats (4-year terms) are incumbent Keith Ray Radford; and challengers – Charles Bookout, Danny N. Browning, Wade Cook, James Mayor Hines, Tommy Hodges, Teresa Johnson and Cruz Legens.
In the City of Greenfield elections, Mayor Cindy McAdams is running unopposed (two-year term). Candidates seeking the four at-large aldermen posts (4-year terms) are: incumbents – Donald Ray High and James Roy Pope; and newcomers – Kelly Keylon and Chris Turbyville. The only candidate on the ballot seeking to fill the unexpired term of Alderman Mike Caudle is Don Allen. Caudle was appointed to fill the seat of Shane Johnson, who resigned his post several months ago.
Incumbent candidates in Martin city elections are running unopposed (4-year terms). They are: Alderman, Ward 1 – Danny Mac Nanney; Alderman, Ward 2 – Marvin Flatt; and Alderman, Ward 3 – Randy Edwards. The remaining three alderman seats are up for re-election in 2022.
In Sharon’s municipal races, the office of mayor (2-year term) and two at-large aldermen seats (4-year terms) are on the ballot. Mayoral candidate Ali Stalter is running unopposed. Mayor Monroe Ary is not seeking another term in office. Candidates for alderman are: incumbents – Stewart Broussard and Wanda Hamlin; and challengers – Austin Bond and Jesse Lee Doster.
Because a portion of McKenzie is in Weakley County, the office of a McKenzie City alderperson will also appear on the ballot. In the City of McKenzie municipal election, no candidate qualified for the post of Ward 1 councilman. However, voters have the option to write-in a candidate.
Early voting is one of two ways in which a registered voter of Tennessee can vote before actual Election Day. The second way for a registered voter to vote early is by-mail voting.
These two voting choices differ in that to vote by-mail, the individual must have a statutory reason. On the other hand, to vote during the early voting period, the person may vote purely for the sake of convenience.
To vote early, a person must appear in person at either the Weakley County Election Commission office, located at 135 South Poplar Street, Suite A, in Dresden; or at the Martin City Masonic Lodge #551, located at 7900 Hwy 45 South.
Area citizens casting their ballots during the early-voting period must do so between Wednesday, October 14, 2020, and Thursday, October 29, 2020.
These early-voting locations will be open 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday; and 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. October 28 and 29.
Early Voting By Mail
Voters must meet certain requirements to be eligible to vote by mail. The voter must make the request in writing and include their name (as registered), date of birth, Social Security number, residence address, mailing address (if different), the election(s) they wish to vote in, the reason they are requesting to vote absentee, and their signature. These requests must be received in the Election Commission Office no later than Tuesday, October 27, 2020. For more information about voting by mail, visit www.GoVoteTN.com.
Election Day Polling Stations
On November 3, voters must cast their ballots at polling stations in the various precincts where they reside as follows:
1A – Palmersville Fire Station: 6303 Palmersville Hwy. 89
1B – Latham Fire Station: 5337 Hwy. 118
2A – Gleason Community Building: 506 N. Cedar St.
3A – Greenfield First Baptist Church: 2127 Meridian St.
4A – Sharon First Baptist Church: 5516 Hwy. 45.
5A – Martin Church of Christ: 233 Oxford St.
6A – Trinity Presbyterian Church: 145 Hannings Ln., Martin
7A – Shepherd’s Field Church: 500 Fowler Rd., Martin
8A – Martin First United Methodist Church: 225 Main St.
9A – Dresden First United Methodist Church: 105 S. Church St.
As a reminder, a photo ID issued by the State of Tennessee or the U.S. government must be presented to cast a ballot during early voting or on Election Day. These forms of identification are acceptable, even if they are expired.
Acceptable forms of identification include: a Tennessee driver license with photo; Tennessee handgun carry permit; a photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security; photo ID issued by the federal or Tennessee state government; United States Military photo ID; United States passport; or Tennessee handgun carry permit.
Types of identification that are not acceptable are college student IDs and photo IDs not issued by the federal or Tennessee state government. This includes county- or city-issued photo IDs, such as library cards and photo IDs issued by other states.
Election Commission & Office
The Election Commission is composed of three Republicans: Chairman – John Robert Freeman, Britan Coleman and Wendell Verdell; and Democratic members: Secretary – Amy Lewellen and Linda Ramsey. Alex Britt serves as administrator of elections.
For more information, check out their website at https://tnmap.tn.gov/voterlookup/earlyvoting.aspx?County=Weakley; stop by the Weakley County Election Commission, located at 135 South Poplar St. in Dresden; give them a call at 731-364-5564; or email them at email@example.com. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is closed one hour for lunch.