Monday, November 2, 2015

City Council races set for Tuesday

Knox County election officials say they expect “a less than robust” turnout Tuesday, so they’re encouraging residents to get out and vote.

“The message I always like to get out when I expect a low turnout is that a few votes can decide an election,” said Cliff Rodgers, the county’s administrator of elections. “You can’t take it for granted who is going to win because a few votes can change it. The only way to be sure is to go out and vote, and that’s what we’re encouraging people to do (Tuesday).”

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

At this point, Rodgers said officials are predicting about a 3 percent to 4 percent turnout. During the two weeks of early voting leading up to Tuesday’s contests, only 2,065 people cast ballots.

That’s not exactly surprising, though, since there’s only a handful of Knoxville City Council races up for grabs.

Here's a list of the candidates running:
  • City Council At Large Seat A: George C. Wallace is running unopposed
  • City Council At Large Seat B: Pete Drew and Marshall Stair
  • City Council At Large Seat C: Paul Bonovich and Finbarr Saunders
  • City Council District 5: Mark Campen and Jennifer Mirtes
The City Council races are non-partisan.

The way the city’s charter is written, city residents can vote in each race even if they don’t live in the district. That rule applies only to regular elections and not the primary.

The election commission set up 39 voting locations throughout the city, and residents can vote only at their specific precinct, unlike early voting. Rodgers said if voters are not sure where to cast ballots, they can find precinct locations at or call 865-215-2480.

He also said that some precincts are in the local schools, which will be open Tuesday. He said parking could be tight in the morning and afternoon when students are arriving and leaving school.

The city set aside $260,000 to cover its primary and regular election, although it’s not expected to cost that much.

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