Democracy at its best was on display Tuesday night at the Cannon County Courthouse.
A large crowd, most of them candidates in the August 5 General Election, turned out for the regular monthly meeting of the Cannon County Election Commission.
The commission moved the meeting from its regular location at the county election office to the courthouse to accommodate what was expected to be a a bigger than normal attendance for the meeting.
It was the last opportunity before the election for candidates and interested citizens to ask questions and express concerns about the voting process and rules.
Questions from the audience ranged from whether a person standing in line during early voting will still be allowed to vote when the allotted time expires (the answer is yes) to whether a list of poll workers is available to persons who request one (also yes).
Sheriff candidate Darrell Young inquired whether a person who was elderly or handicapped could be assisted in voting by either family members, friends or poll workers. Administrator of Elections Stanley Dobson said persons can get outside help if they need it to vote, and that it was a violation of the law to refuse assistance to handicapped persons.
"We do not expect any eligible voter to get turned away," Election Commissioner Matt Studd said.
With a close vote possible to many of the county races, due to a large number of candidates, a question was raised about under what circumstances would a recount come into play. Dobson explained that any candidate could request a recount, and the number of votes they lost by did not make a difference.
Election Commission Chairman Lindburgh Dennis addressed the concern many people have expressed to him about the role fellow commissioner Sue Patrick can play in the election. Patrick's son, Grant Holt, is a candidate for trustee.
Dennis said Patrick can not be a member of Holt's campaign staff, and will not participate in vote counting, but other than that she was free to involve herself in any way she chooses.
"Sue has not done anything wrong," Dennis stressed. "There have been a lot of questions but she is well within her rights to do what she has been doing."
The dates for early voting will be July 16 through July 31. Times are as followed: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon each day. Tuesday July 20th will be 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday July 22nd will be 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Tuesday July 27th will be 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and Thursday July 29th will be 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.