There will be several local positions eligible to be voted on in the upcoming March election.
“In the county we have assessor of property, a two year term for county commission in District 1, and we have a two year term for constable in District 2,” said Monroe County Election Commission Director James Brown. “It has a presidential preference primary, which will be a Republican and Democratic primary.”
Marsha A. Raper is the only qualified contestant currently on the ballot for assessor of property.
For the constable position, Derek Sircy is the only qualified candidate.
The county commission position currently has two people running in the Republican primary – T.J. Lankford and Adam Reynolds – and one in the Democratic primary – Cotton Upton.
For the presidential primary, candidates for the Republican Party are current President Donald Trump and challengers Joe Walsh and Bill Weld.
On the Democratic side, candidates on the presidential primary ballot include Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.
Brown predicted a lower turnout during the primaries compared to previous elections.
“We usually have a fairly large turnout,” said Brown. “In the presidential primary we think the turnout for both primaries will be considerably lower this time.”
He said the size of the Democratic presidential field is a concern for him when it comes to turnout.
“There are so many Democrats in the primary – they have 16 candidates – and a lot of people won’t vote in the primary until they see who is going to drop out,” said Brown.
The director added that this year will also start an easier method of voting for the community.
“In the March 3 election, we are starting a new form of voting in Monroe County that will be convenient voting,” said Brown. “On election day, a registered voter will be able to go into any precinct in Monroe County and vote so you don’t have to go to your home precinct.”
Early voting at the Monroe County Election Commission will be available from Feb. 12 through Feb. 25 and the office will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Early voting in the basement of Sweetwater City Hall will be available Wednesday, Feb. 12 through Friday, Feb. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 15 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Early voting at the Vonore Community Center will be available from Tuesday, Feb. 18 through Thursday, Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
People who early vote at the Tellico Plains Community Center will be able to do so on Friday, Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to noon, as well as Monday, Feb. 24 and Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Election day is set for Tuesday, March 3.