Early voting starts today and will continue until Oct. 29 for the Nov. 3 election.

Voters can go to the Monroe County Election Commission office in Madisonville through the duration of early voting, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. until noon on Saturday.

Voters can also early vote at the Sweetwater City Hall basement starting on Oct. 14 through the Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Vonore voters can go to the Vonore Community Center to vote from Oct. 20 through Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tellico Plains Community Center will receive early voters from Oct. 24 through Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to noon on Oct. 24 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Oct. 26-29.

“We will be furnishing every voter who comes in with their own gloves, their own pen and we will have plenty of hand sanitizer and the voting booths are set six feet apart,” said Election Commission Administrator James Brown, referring to the safety precautions against COVID-19. “Our poll officials are required to wear masks and we will have somebody to clean each machine after every use.”

Brown expects to see “the largest turnout that we have had in years” during this election.

“Presidential is usually one of our biggest elections, but we are expecting an increase in turnout,” Brown stated.

Local contested positions on the ballot will be for alderman for the City of Madisonville, alderman for the Town of Vonore, and mayor for the Town of Tellico Plains.

For the Madisonville alderman election, voters will be able to select three between Augusta T. Davis, Horton Edward Dawson, Scott “Scooter” Hunt, and Susan G. Saunders.

Voters will be able to vote for two of the four candidates for the Vonore alderman race, consisting of James (Hamp) Brown, Dough Faragher, Robert Keenan, and Michael E. Moore.

Two candidates are running for Tellico Plains mayor, allowing voters to select one from either Marilyn F. Parker or Roger L. Powers.

Uncontested local positions are city recorder for the City of Madisonville, alderman for the Town of Tellico Plains and city recorder for Tellico Plains.

The candidate for Madisonville City Recorder is Sherri Anderson.

Four positions are available for Tellico Plains alderman and Perry Brake, Robert Wiliam Hamilton, Cynthia McDaniel, and Joyce A. McDaniel are running.

The applicant for Tellico City Recorder is Jo Cagle.

Voters will have the option between two candidates for Tennessee House of Representatives District 23, as Mark Cochran (R) faces David G.E. Fankhauser (independent).

Lowell Russell is running unopposed for Tennessee House of Representatives District 21 seat.

For United States House of Representatives District 3, voters will get to vote for one person among Chuck Fleischmann (R), Meg Gorman (D), Amber L. Hysell (independent) and Keith Douglas Sweitzer (independent).

Options for United States Senate include Bill Hagerty (R), Marquita Bradshaw (D), Yomi “Fapas” Faparusi Sr. (I), Jeffrey Alan Grunau (I), Ronie Henley (I), G. Dean Hill (I), Steven J. Hooper (I), Aaron James (I), Elizabeth McLeod (I), Kacey Morgan (I), and Eric William Stansberry (I).

The presidential section of the ballot contains nine candidates with the Democratic and Republican nominees, along with seven independent candidates.

The Republican nominee is Donald J. Trump with Michael R. Pence selected for vice president.

Joseph R. Biden is the Democratic nominee with Kamala D. Harris selected as his vice president.

The independent candidates include: Don Blankenship for president with William Hohr for vice president; Roque “Rockey” De La Fuente for president with Darcy G. Richardson for vice president; Hawie Hawkins for president with Angela Walker selected as his vice president; Jo Jorgensen for president with Jeremy “Spike” Cohen as vice president; Alyson Kennedy for president with Malcom Jarrett for vice president; Gloria La Riva for president with Sunil Freeman for vice president; and Kanye West for president with Michelle Tidball selected as his vice president.

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