One federal legislative office, seven state offices, two state legislative offices, and six county offices will appear on the Republican primary ballot next Tuesday June 3. (See sample ballot page A8). In addition, municipal option (wet/dry) referenda will be held in Oneonta and Blountsville (only), with voting on a separate standalone ballot in each town. Both towns will use virtually the same ballot. (See sample page A8)
The Democratic primary ballot, by contrast, features only one position to be voted on: governor. (See sample ballot.) That’s the only office – federal, state, or county – where more than one Democrat qualified to run.
Note that not all offices will appear on all ballots. Only voters in Blount County’s District 3 will vote in the District 3 commissioner race for example. It will not appear on ballots in the remainder of the county outside of district 3. Ballots for each precinct will be formatted to display only those offices for which voters in that precinct may vote.
Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Tuesday in all Blount County precincts. Procedure for voting in wet/dry referenda
Oneonta: Voting for both the primary election and the wet/dry referendum will be at the Frank Green Building, the usual Oneonta voting place, but voters must vote on separate ballots. At heavy voting times, such as before and after work, a single line will form outside the building. Once inside the building, voters will be divided into two lines. Voters intending to vote in the primary, or both the primary and wet/dry referendum, will be directed to enter the auditorium as usual, using the left-hand entrance from the lobby. They will vote, then exit the auditorium using the right-hand entrance. As they exit, the counter and voting area for the wet/dry will be immediately in front of them in the main lobby. Voters wishing to vote only in the referendum will be directed immediately to that area as they enter the building. Signage and greeters will provide directions on election day.
Blountsville: A similar division using separate ballots with separate voting sites within the same building will be used in Blountsville. Primary voting will be located in the front lobby using the front entrance of city hall as usual. Voting for the wet/dry referendum will be held in a separate room in the rear of city hall. Voters may vote in the primary then move to the area in back using the interior hallway. Voters intending to vote only in the referendum may enter the rear of city hall using the entrance through the old fire station. Dates to remember:
Thursday, May 29, 5 p.m. – last day to apply for or vote a regular absentee ballot in person at the courthouse in Oneonta (in the primary election); same for the wet/dry referendum except until 6 p.m. at Oneonta city hall.
Tuesday, June 3 – election day
Thursday, July 10, 5 p.m. – last day to apply for or vote a regular absentee ballot in person at the courthouse in Oneonta (in the primary runoff election)
Tuesday, July 15 – primary runoff election day Busy runoff election probable
Runoff elections are necessary whenever there are more than two candidates in the race for a given position and no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. In that event, the two candidates with the highest percentage of the total vote will face each other in a runoff election.
This year, two legislative offices – one federal and one state – each feature seven Republican candidates vying for the position. The offices are U.S. Representative for the 6th Congressional District, and state Senator for District 17. A runoff is probable in both races. In the election for county offices, three candidates have qualified for sheriff, as well as for District 3 commissioner. Runoffs are possible in both those races, as well. Runoffs are also possible in four of the state office races: governor, secretary of state, state auditor, and public service commission, place 2. Unopposed candidates
Four candidates are unopposed in the primary and will not appear on any Blount County ballots:
•District 9 state Senator Clay Scofield
•District 11 state Representative Randall Shedd
•District 34 state Representative David Standridge
•District 1 county Commissioner Allen Armstrong