Early voting begins Wednesday for the Nov. 3 election.

The early voting period in McMinn and Meigs counties will last from Wednesday, Oct. 14, until Thursday, Oct. 29.

In McMinn County, there are two locations for voters to cast an early ballot. McMinn voters may either visit the McMinn County Election Commission Office on the ground floor of the McMinn County Courthouse or the Athens Regional Park Conference Center.

The hours for early voting are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays at the Election Commission Office only. There is no early voting on Saturdays at the Conference Center.

Meigs County also has two locations for early voting. Meigs voters may choose either the Decatur Municipal Building or the Meigs County Election Commission Office.

The early voting hours at the Municipal Building are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Early votes may be cast at the Election Commission Office from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Saturday.

In addition to the state and national general elections, several municipal races are on the ballot in McMinn and Meigs counties.

Athens voters will decide on two new members of the Athens City Council. Incumbent Mayor Chuck Burris has opted not to run for another term. John Coker relinquished his Council seat after moving outside the city limits. Lisa Dotson has been appointed to serve the remainder of Coker’s unexpired term, but she will not seek election to a full-time seat.

Three candidates will be vying for two Council seats: Frances Witt-McMahan, Eric Morrow and Jordan Curtis. Witt-McMahan and Curtis have previously been candidates for the Council, while this is Morrow’s first attempt.

Only incumbents have declared for three seats on the Athens City Board of Education. Mike Bevins, Beth Jackson and Chris Adams are unopposed in their bids for another term on the School Board.

Three seats on the Niota City Commission will be contested in November. Four candidates have declared for the race. Incumbents Marshall David Dilbeck, Scott Wallace and Allen Johnny Watkins will seek another term, with Renée Brakebill challenging to unseat one of the incumbents.

Three candidates will vie for three seats on the Calhoun City Commission. Incumbents Dennis H. Goodine and Evan Thomas are joined in the race by John Walker, who has formerly served on the Commission. Incumbent James R. Duffy opted not to seek another term on the Commission.

At the top of the ticket is the race for the U.S. presidency between incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Also on the statewide ballot is the race for a seat in the U.S. Senate between Republican Bill Hagerty and Democrat Marquita Bradshaw. This seat is up for grabs due to the retirement of Sen. Lamar Alexander.

In McMinn County, incumbent Republican Chuck Fleischmann will face a challenge for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Democrat Meg Gorman.

Incumbent Republican Mark Cochran does not have a Democratic challenger for his seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. However, Independent David G.E. Fankhauser will attempt to unseat Cochran.

In Decatur, four candidates have qualified to compete for three seats on the Board of Aldermen. Incumbents PJ Hackney, John Wayne Irwin and Bryan Peaden will be joined on the ballot by challenger Michael L. Bredwell.

In addition to the aforementioned state and national races, Meigs County voters will see incumbent Republican Scott DesJarlais challenged for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives by Democrat Christopher Hale.

Incumbent Republican Dan Howell is unopposed in his bid for another term in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Tennessee state law requires all voters voting in person to present a federal or State of Tennessee issued photo ID. The ID must contain the voter’s name and photograph.

Email: andy.brusseau


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