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‘Convenience Voting’ approved


Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen agreed to participate in convenience voting with Knox County Election Commission at its meeting, Thursday, Jan. 8.

“Basically, we’re taking early voting and extending it through to election day,” Election Commission director Greg Mackay said.

“The system we have now, you have early voting and you’re open for 15 days. Five days before the election, you close, and then you have election day,” he added.

This won’t make much of a difference in the voting process for early voters, but should drastically lower crowds on election day.

“It will work out ideally in Farragut for one reason, and that is, we don’t have two polling places,” Mackay said.


For a normal election, Farragut voters could do early voting at Town Hall but would have to go to Farragut High School on election day.

Convenience voting will eliminate any confusion by allowing all voting to take place at Town Hall.

Convenience voting also will diminish the possibility of voter fraud.

Votes will be recorded on a central computer in real time, eliminating the possibility anyone can vote more than once at a different polling place.

Convenience voting has not been enacted anywhere else in the nation.

“This is brand new, this is the first time it’s been used anywhere,” Mackay said.

“There are places that have done voting centers on election day … so you could go on election day and you could go to any of the centers and vote once.

“But no one has taken early voting and election day and put them together,” he added.

“A lot of times these small towns, and even the states, are the incubators for changing things. You don’t come in and change these things nationwide, you go to a local level and try them out, and that’s what we’re going to do here,” Mackay said.

“I would like to commend Greg and the Election Commission for leading the way, really in the state,” Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes said.

Convenience voting will begin 20 days before the April 7 election, March 18. Polls will only be closed Sundays.

 

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