VOL. 131 | NO. 141 | Friday, July 15, 2016
Early Voting Opens For The Aug. 4 Election
By Bill Dries
Early voting opens Friday, July 15, in advance of the Aug. 4 election day in Shelby County and across Tennessee.
Early voting in Shelby County will expand to 21 satellite locations on Monday, July 18, and continue through July 30.
(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
The first day of early voting will be at a single location, the Shelby County Office Building, 157 Poplar Ave., but expands to 21 satellite locations across Shelby County on Monday.
July 30 is the last day of the early voting period.
Go to www.shelbyvote.com for voting locations and hours. Voters can choose any location to cast early ballots and have the district races for their precinct on the ballot.
On the ballot are state and federal primary elections, but no primaries for statewide offices – governor and U.S. Senate.
The ballot also includes nonpartisan judicial and Shelby County Schools board races as well as a countywide general election for General Sessions Court Clerk between incumbent Democrat Ed Stanton and Republican challenger Richard Morton.
Early voter turnout in the same election cycle four years ago was 62,601. But that was for a ballot topped by U.S. Senate primary elections.
In the last election cycle without statewide primaries in 2004, early voter turnout was approximately 26,000.
Winners of the primary elections for two state Senate seats and all 14 state House seats representing Shelby County advance to the November general election ballot topped by the presidential general election.
So do the winners of the Congressional primaries, including the 8th and 9th districts.
The 8th Congressional District where Republican incumbent Stephen Fincher is not seeking another term, features a 13-candidate Republican primary with seven of the 13 contenders from Shelby County.
The eastern part of Shelby County and Memphis is included within the 8th district.
The crowded Republican primary contest is the most visible of any race locally, with television ads from several of the contenders airing in heavy rotation.
Republican contender David Kustoff has recently tweaked his ads to include an endorsement from former Arkansas governor and one-time GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee.
Democratic state Sen. Sara Kyle is being challenged in the District 30 Democratic primary by former state Sen. Beverly Marrero, They met in Crosstown Tuesday evening for a forum by the Memphis Women’s Political Caucus.
The forum at Amurica Photo drew a crowd of 40 people with no sparks between the candidates.
Kyle and Marrero each touted their records in the Senate.
Each said women are under-represented in decision-making in Nashville on critical issues like paid leave and the pay gap between men and women.
Kyle lamented the “sad fact” that she was the last woman elected to a statewide office, when she won a seat on the Tennessee Public Service Commission in 1994.
“We need to get out there and support women,” she said.
Marrero, who also served as a state representative before becoming a state senator, admitted to some frustration with the Republican super majorities in each chamber.
“There’s all kinds of crazy people up there,” she said.
Kyle complained of the influence of the National Rifle Association in opposing any measure that would limit sales or the use of firearms, even her bill requiring parents of small children to lock up guns.
“The NRA told me three times to back up,” Kyle said. “I will continue to fight for it.”
On police shootings of African-Americans and the Black Lives Matter movement in general, Marrero said police need more training.
“If I had an African-American son, I would be afraid for him to leave the house,” she said.
Kyle said the movement is necessary. She said the state has data on how many officers die in the line of duty, but the Legislature just passed a bill to begin keeping statistics on how many people are killed by police.
Kyle attended the stormy session at Greater Imani Christian Church earlier in the week between elected leaders and organizers of Sunday’s Black Lives Matter protest that shut down the Hernando DeSoto Bridge for 4 1/2 hours.
“It was as good as it could be,” Kyle said of the meeting, which is expected to be the first in a series of sessions.
Meanwhile, municipal election races in Bartlett, Germantown, Collierville and Millington that are the November ballot continue to take shape.
The filing deadline in the Millington and Collierville mayors races, as well as races for school board and aldermen positions in all four of the suburban cities, is noon Aug. 18.
Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner has filed for re-election. Challenger Tom Allen, who is an alderman not on this year’s ballot, has filed to challenge Joyner.
No one has filed in the race for Millington mayor, but incumbent Terry Jones has pulled a qualifying petition. So has alderman and vice mayor Chris Ford.
Alderman Mike Caruthers also pulled a petition for the Millington mayor’s race, but he has since filed to run for re-election to his position 7 alderman seat.