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Voting registration deadline draws near

Gary B. Gray • Jul 4, 2014 at 10:54 PM

The last day to register to vote in the Aug. 7 state primary and county general election is just one week away, and those wanting to weigh in on federal, state and local contests must do so no later than Tuesday, July 8.

“People can go to our website, as well as Carter and Unicoi countys’ websites for information and to download registration forms,” said Maybell Stewart, Washington County administrator of elections. “If people are not sure if they are currently registered, or if they have any questions at all, they can call us or the other election commission offices. Citizens also can mail registration forms to election commission offices, but they must be postmarked by July 8.”

At the federal level, incumbent U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will defend his seat in Congress against six Republican challengers in the Aug. 7 primary. Four Democratic hopefuls are competing for a chance to face off in the general election. Nine independents and one Green Party candidate automatically move to the Nov. 4 ballot.

Incumbent Phil Roe will defend his District 1 U.S. House of Representatives seat against two fellow Republicans in the state primary. There are no Democrats making a run, but two independents and one Green Party candidate will join the pack in the general election.

At the state level, incumbent Republican Gov. Bill Haslam faces three GOP contenders and three Democratic hopefuls. Three independents, as well as one Green Party and one Constitution Party entries, will move to the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

Two Tennessee House of Representatives races are of particular interest. District 6 incumbent Micah Van Huss is being challenged in the all-Republican primary by Johnson City Vice Mayor Clayton Stout. These are the only contestants for this seat, making it a winner-take-all affair.

The same principle applies in the District 7 race, though three Republicans are in the running: incumbent Matthew Hill, former Johnson City Commissioner Phil Carriger and Todd Mitchell Franklin.

Local contests include a race for all 25 Washington County Commission district seats.

There were some surprises during the May 6 Republican primary. Incumbents Doyle Cloyd, Alpha Bridger, Mark Ferguson, Roger Nave and Gearld Sparks lost their bids to move on to the county general election. Another incumbent, David Shanks, has withdrawn his name from contention, moving a total of six sitting commissioners off the board.

The district attorney general and various judicial positions will be finalized Aug. 7, a date coinciding with the county general election. Elizabethton, Jonesborough and the towns of Erwin and Unicoi will hold municipal elections Nov. 4.

Citizens can register to vote at the following locations:

• Washington County Election Commission office, 100 E. Main St., Jonesborough, TN 37659. Call 753-1688 or visit the website at wcecoffice.com.

• Carter County Election Commission Office, Carter County Courthouse, 801 East Elk Ave., Room 207, Elizabethton, TN 37643. Call 542-1822 or visit cartercountytn.gov/government/election-commission.

• Unicoi County Election Commission office, 106 Nolichucky Ave., Erwin, TN 37650. Call 735-7327 or visit unicoicountytn.gov/government/election-commission.

• Registration forms also can be downloaded by going to tn.gov and clicking the link to the election page. Registration forms also are available at Department of Safety and Human Services offices.

Dates to know:

• July 31: Last day to request absentee ballot.

• July 18-Aug. 2: Early voting.

Follow Gary B. Gray on Twitter @ggrayjcpress. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/garybgrayjcp

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