BY SABRINA BATES
WEAKLEY COUNTY (November 16) – While national headlines are touting potential voter fraud and a flurry of lawsuits waged in states across the country after the November 3 General Election, election commissioners in Weakley County certified the county’s elections results when it met Monday evening.
Across the state, counties have until November 23 to certify their results.
This year’s race, which included federal, state and municipal seats, boasted a record voter turnout, as well as a record number of mail-in ballots in Tennessee and the county.
When the polls opened on Election Day, counties began to count its absentee, mail-in ballots, although results were not released until every voter in Weakley County who appeared in person to cast a vote, was finished casting their ballot. If they were in line when polls closed at 7 p.m., they were still eligible to cast a vote.
Unofficial election results were reported in record time for Weakley County after the polls closed on Election Day. Weakley County Administrator of Elections Alex Britt shared although this election had a record turnout, it was a smooth process for the counting board and poll workers.
During this unique election cycle, more poll workers were needed as a result of turnout. Voters in Weakley County were offered an option to drop off a previously-requested mail-in ballot at the post office by 3 p.m. to guarantee it would be counted that day.
The counting board oversees the counting of nursing home ballots and absentee, by-mail ballots. The counting board in Weakley County consists of two Republicans and two Democrats. Before they begin the process of counting early ballots, a detachable affidavit is removed from the envelope, thereby removing the person’s name who cast each ballot. Britt noted the names and information of those who cast an absentee ballot remains confidential to protect the voter and the integrity of the process.
Once polls closed on Election Day, one member of the two political parties from each polling location in the county accompanied the ballot box data bags when they were brought into the county’s Election Commission office.
Overall, the process of casting votes, counting ballots and certifying results was one that has been described as smooth by county and state officials.
“Our goal was to conduct this election safely, sensibly, and responsibility and Tennessee’s comprehensive COVID-19 election plan paid off statewide and in Weakley County. This was evidenced by the smooth election cycle both Weakley County voters and Tennesseans across the state enjoyed,” Julia Bruck, Director of Communications for the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, commented.
Statewide election results can be found at www.GoVoteTN.com.