DeKalb County voters may cast ballots starting Wednesday, February 10 at the courthouse in the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primaries and the DeKalb County Democratic Primary
(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW SAMPLE BALLOT)
MARCH SAMPLE BALLOT MASTER.pdf (41.39 KB)
Early voting begins Wednesday and runs Mondays through Saturdays until Tuesday, February 23. The DeKalb County Election Commission Office will be closed on Monday, February 15 for Presidents Day. The primary election day is Tuesday, March 1. Polls in DeKalb County will be open that day from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
All Early Voting in DeKalb County will be at the Election Commission Office on the first floor of the courthouse (basement).
Early Voting Hours:
Mondays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursdays 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. to Noon.
Voters are urged to take advantage of early voting.
"We encourage all voters to vote early and skip the lines on election day," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections in DeKalb County. "By law, early voting is conducted at the election office or in our case, the courtroom next door to our office and the election commission makes a concerted effort to provide voting hours that are convenient to all residents of the county.This is a lengthy ballot due to the number of presidential candidates and the Republican delegate candidates,” Stanley continued.
In the Tennessee Presidential Primaries, Republican and Democratic voters will choose their preferences for President. In the DeKalb County Democratic Primary, voters will select nominees for Assessor of Property and Constable. All local candidates on the ballot are running unopposed in this election. Some will have a Republican opponent in the August General Election
In this election, voters must declare in which Presidential Preference Primary they intend to vote, according Stanley. "A Preference Primary is a primary in which voters indicate preferences for nominees for President directly by vote or indirectly through the choice of delegates to the Presidential nominating convention. Each party selects the delegates to the nominating convention by different methods. That's why, for example, there will be numerous delegate candidates on the Republican Presidential Preference Primary ballot. We suggest you study the ballot in advance and be prepared to vote before arriving at the polls," said Stanley.
Voters who choose to vote in the Republican Presidential Preference Primary cannot vote in the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary nor the DeKalb County Democratic Primary. Likewise, those who choose to vote in the Democratic Primaries cannot vote in the Republican Presidential Preference Primary.
"A local primary is a primary in which voters select a party's nominees for the upcoming county general election in August," Stanley continued.
"Because all elections on March 1 are a form of a primary, a voter must select which primary he or she wishes to vote in. Voters cannot cross party lines in this election. In other words, a voter can only vote in one primary, not both," he said.
"Both the Democratic Presidential Preference candidates and the local or DeKalb County Democratic Primary candidates will appear on the same ballot. Let's say, for an example, you wish to cast a vote for the local Democratic party nominee for constable in your district then you tell the election worker you want to vote in the Democratic Primaries. You will receive a ballot with the Democratic candidates for President and the local primary candidates," said Stanley.
"On the other side, if you wish to cast a vote for one of the Republican candidates for President, you will receive only the Republican Presidential Preference Primary ballot. You will not have any of the local Democratic party nominees on the Republican ballot. As a result, each voter must declare which primary ballot they want to have on their voting machine and the voters do that at the beginning of the process at the polling location," Stanley continued.
"We know sometimes voters get confused about the primary system and that's why it is imperative that voters study both ballots and have a decision made when they arrive at the polls. A copy of the ballots can be found at the DeKalb County Election Commission website and at www.wjle.com or in last week's edition of the Smithville Review," said Stanley.
"Occasionally a voter will come to the polling location and refuse to declare a party or let his or her wishes be known. In this election, March 1, a voter must select one ballot or the other. If not, they cannot vote. Again, the March 1 elections are primary elections and a voter must declare one way or the other," Stanley said.
Meanwhile, Stanley reminds you to make sure to keep your address up to date with the election office. "If you have moved since you last voted, then you may have to vote at a different location on March 1. Keep in mind, if your address has changed and you have not notified our office, you will have paperwork to fill out on election day and you may have to go to a different place to vote. If you have not moved you may check your voter card to see where you vote on election day or you can call our office," said Stanley.
Voters should also remember to bring valid photo identification with them to the polls. A driver's license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security as well as photo IDs issued by Tennessee state government or the federal government are acceptable even if they are expired. College student IDs are not acceptable.
Meanwhile, “In an effort to create a pleasant, non-disruptive and orderly atmosphere without undue delays for all voters, the legislature passed a new law now in effect concerning using cell phones in the polling place,” Stanley said. “The law prohibits using mobile electronic or communication devices by voters for telephone conversations, recording or taking photographs or videos while inside the polling place. The law also allows for the silencing of cell phones.”
“The Tennessee Division of Elections has created an ‘app’ called GoVoteTn which contains a lot of voting information individualized for each voter,” Stanley continued. “Voters will be able to access this ‘app’ or others if needed for informational purposes, but phone conversations are not allowed, the phones must be silenced and any election content on the phone cannot be shown to other voters.”
“This ‘app’ is a great tool to use in order to be prepared when you step into the voting booth,” Stanley added. “When voters are unprepared, they slow down the entire voting process for all voters and may have their time in the voting booth limited pursuant to T.C.A. 2-7-118(a).”