Early voting is Friday, July 17th, through August 1st, when voters will be using the Knox County Election Commission’s new “paper ballot” system. The paper system replaces the electronic voting machines.
KNOXVILLE, TN (July 13, 2020)— Approved in December, the change comes right on time considering the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the paper ballots, the community can cast contact-free and physically distanced votes in four simple steps:
- Voters will be handed a paper ballot, then
- Go to a private box to mark your choices with a blue or black ink pen,
- Review your ballot before walking over to the electronic scanner
- Put your ballot into the electronic scanner to be tallied, review your results for accuracy. Commission staff will be available to assist with scanning if needed.
Tutorials demonstrating how to vote, in-person, with the new paper ballots can be viewed here, or on the Election Commission website.
Mayor Jacobs met with Knox County Administrator of Elections Chris Davis to talk through the new procedure. The voting process can be completed in less than five minutes. The process is designed to be smooth and convenient. Aspects of the traditional voting process will remain the same, and many will be altered, including the opportunity for voters to review their own paper ballots before dropping them into the ballot scanner.
ABSENTEE BY-MAIL VOTING: The commission is accepting applications from anyone wanting to cast an absentee or vote-by-mail ballot. First-time voters, including those who registered to vote-by-mail, must vote IN-PERSON the first time.
People concerned about exposure to COVID-19 can apply to get an absentee ballot to send by mail into the election commission. You can get more information for Knox County here. For information for all counties in the state of Tennessee click here.
Absentee ballot applications must be received by July 30 and must be returned by mail by the close of polls Aug. 6. But don’t delay or wait until the last minute. If required information is overlooked, there is an error or questionable response on your ballot it will not be counted.
Submit early to assure that your vote will be counted and to allow time to resubmit if needed. Absentee ballots are counted by hand, which slows down the process of tallying votes.
Absentee voters are encouraged to request and return their ballots as soon as possible. It will allow time for hand-counting in order for full primary results to be known August 6, election day.