From Post staff reports
Early voting for the Presidential Primary in Tennessee began today with only one Democrat on the ballot, President Barrack Obama, and nine Republicans listed.
Voters should be aware that for the first time in Tennessee a photo identification is required in order for registered voters to cast their respective votes.However, there have been no changes in the laws that govern absentee voting.
The Presidential Primary Election Day is Tuesday, March 6. Early voting will end on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Early voting is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on the two Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Local voters can visit three locations for early voting including, the Wilson County Election Commission office at 228 E. Main Street in Lebanon, the Watertown Community Center on Sparta Pike and the Mt. Juliet Community Center at 1075 Charlie Daniels Pkwy..
Wilson County Election Coordinator Phillip Warren said there are currently 53,000 registered voters in Wilson County. He noted that participation in early voting ranges from 30 to 50 percent.
In 2008, the last Presidential Primary, Warren said that 20,646 votes were cast and about 4,000 were cast during early voting. That is roughly 20 percent of the overall votes cast.
The Election Commission has been training many volunteers leading up to early voting and Warren noted last week they had nearly 300 trained. He said all 37 polling stations for the General Election would be fully staffed.
A sample ballot for the Presidential Primary election will be published in The Wilson Post Friday. The advertisement in The Post is being published free of charge to the Wilson County Election Commission as a public service for the readers of this newspaper.
Warren said the sample ballot is being published as a paid advertisement in only The Lebanon Democrat and Mt. Juliet News for this election in an effort to save the county money.
In previous elections, sample ballots had been published in all county newspapers. Warren said in the last Presidential Primary the county paid more than $20,000 for election advertising. This year he said the bill will run around $5,000.
While The Post is running the sample ballot advertisement free of charge for this election, Warren said he will authorize The Wilson Post to receive the paid version of the sample ballot for the August election.
"We'll do you all next time," Warren told The Post, explaining his plan to rotate the paid advertising for the election that is required by law.
He also noted that the county's election office website will be tracking the number of voters each day in the Primary. He said those interested may visit www.wilsonelections.com and go to the bottom of the web page to see the report titled "Voters" in order to review the number of those voting.