Early voting gets underway this week for city, state and federal elections on the Nov. 6 ballot.
“I think we’ll see a big turnout with this ballot,” said Shelia Allen, administrator of elections for Lincoln County, noting that turnout for the presidential election four years ago marked the largest on record here. Consider, too, the fact that the local election commission has seen a heavy influx of new voter registrations, and it’s easy to see another record year in the making.
A corrected sample ballot appears on Page 5 of this week’s edition. In last week’s edition, an old ballot ran erroneously – The Times regrets the error but is glad to set the record straight.
Early voting begins Wednesday, Oct. 17, and continues through Nov. 1. During that time, the Lincoln County Election Commission is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. until 12 noon on Saturdays. The commission is located in room 106 of the Ralph Hastings Building at 208 Davidson Street East, Fayetteville.
Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, will see polls open at 9 a.m. and remain open until 7 p.m. that evening.
State, Federal Elections
Leading the ballot will be the Presidential election. President Barack Obama and vice presidential running mate Joe Biden (Dem.) are on the ballot along with Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan (Rep.), as well as a host of Independent candidates, including Virgil Goode and running mate Jim Clymer, Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, Ross C. (Rocky) Anderson and Luis Rodriguez, Gary Johnson and James Gray, and Merlin Miller and Virginia Abernethy.
Incumbent Bob Corker (Rep.) faces Mark E. Clayton (Dem.) in the race for U.S. Senate, as well as a number of other candidates, including Kermit Steck, nominee of the Constitution Party, Martin Pleasant, Green Party nominee, and independent candidates Shaun Crowell, David Gatchell, James Higdon, Michel Joseph Long, and Troy Stephen Scoggin.
Incumbent Scott DesJarlais (Rep.) faces Eric Stewart (Dem.) in the election for the U.S. House of Representatives, 4th Congressional District.
In the race for the new 92nd state House seat, Bill Spivey (Rep.) and Vicki C. Cain (Dem.) are squaring off.
Incumbent Pat Marsh (Rep.) is unchallenged in his bid for re-election the Tennessee House of Representatives, 62nd District, as is incumbent Jim Tracy (Rep.), state senator representing the 14th District.
In Fayetteville city elections, seven candidates, including two incumbents and a former mayor, are on the ballot for three aldermanic seats on Fayetteville’s City Board. Also, four candidates, including two incumbents, are on the ballot for three seats on the City School Board.
In races for aldermen will be incumbents Danny Bryant and Michael Stewart, as well as challengers Jerry K. Milstead, Gwen Shelton, Homer Thompson and Michael Thomas Whisenant.
Shelton, who formerly served as an alderman and then as mayor of Fayetteville, also worked as executive director of the joint Industrial Development Board until the board asked eight months later for her immediate resignation. After putting IDB on notice of her intent to file a lawsuit relating to her termination, she accepted a $150,464 settlement from the board.
Both Thompson and Whisenant narrowly missed winning offices in 2010 city elections. Thompson, then a candidate for mayor, was defeated by a 12-vote margin by John Ed Underwood. Whisenant, a candidate for alderman in 2010, was defeated by 11 votes when he placed fourth behind Dorothy Small, Tom Young and Marty Pepper.
Candidates on the ballot for the Fayetteville Board of Education include incumbents Joyce K. Eady and Alice B. Palacio. A third seat is also on the ballot – it is currently held by Jack Raby, and while Raby isn’t seeking re-election, his wife, Sarah Raby, is seeking the seat.
Also on the ballot is Charles T. (Tim) Womack. Womack ran for one of the school board seats in 2010 but was defeated.
Also on the city ballot in November is the referendum on raising sales and use tax in Fayetteville from 2.5 to 2.75%, or from 9.5 to 9.75% overall, including the state’s portion. City officials have said that without the increase, city property tax rates could increase by as much as 42 cents next year.
Also on the ballot are seats on the Charter Commission. Candidates are on the ballot in six of the county’s eight districts.
No one is on the ballot in either District 5 or District 8. In those districts, seats would be treated as vacancies and filled by Lincoln County Commission appointments.
In District 1, two candidates are on the ballot – those being Joseph Brent Knight and John W. Stiles.
In District 2, only one candidate is on the ballot, that being Gene J. Shreve.
In District 3, two candidates, Daryl Luna and Mary Ann Meyer-Schuck, are on the ballot. In District 4, Fonville Mitchell is the lone candidate on the ballot.
In District 6, Jimmy P. Gulley and Roger D. Welch are on the ballot, and in District 7, Danny C. Owens is on the ballot.