LETTER: I Will Vote You Out Of Your Positions
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I don't understand what you are doing moving our voting places. You say you are saving money. All I can do is to tell it like I see it.

I am a proud citizen of beautiful Cannon County. I am a transplant and have lived here on Short Mountain Road for almost four years. I love this state.

You are asking me to go vote in Gassaway as opposed to Short Mountain School. Short Mountain School is 2 miles from my house. Gassaway is 6 miles on Big Hill which is a fair weather road. Gassaway is over 12 miles on River Road which is a fair weather road. This means in conditions which happen from time to time, these roads are hazardous and shouldn't even be used. They are closed in bad weather. My other options are traveling to McMinnville Highway to Woodbury to Highway 53 to Gassaway which is about 20 miles. Or I could go to Smithville to 70 to Liberty to 53 to Gassaway which is about 25 to 30 miles.

I have heard some of my neighbors say they just won't vote. That's not an option for me. I will vote and I will vote you out of your positions come next election. This is ridiculous.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Fletcher

cc: Secretary of State/Head of Elections: Tre Hargatt

Senator: Mae Beavers

Representative: Mark Pody

Members Opinions:
January 06, 2012 at 6:54am
I sympathize with everyone who has to change voting districts because mine changed as well.

I will give you some information that apparently many people don't have or understand.

This was a unanimous decision by all of the Election Commission officers both Republican AND Democrats to change these voting precincts. The vote was 5-0 recommending the changes.

It was done to help save the county money so the next time the County Commissioners voted to raise our property taxes it would actually be less of an increase.

Every $6500.00 someone saves is another $6500 we can use someplace else or not have to raise taxes to fund.

Mark Pody has no authority or ability to change your precinct. He also has no ability to appoint or remove any election commissioner. That authority resides with Mae Beavers.

All I can say is if you decide to not vote for someone on a State level based off our LOCAL election commission changing your voting precinct then that is obviously your choice, but one I am not sure I understand based off the fact that this was recommended by people who live in this county and not people on the State level.

My precinct changed as well, however I will utilize the early voting process and vote at the Election Commission office because I drive through town every day on my way home. I daresay most of the people who had their precincts changed drive through town as well.

It is simple, it is quick and it a lot less hassle than waiting to the actual day of the election.
January 06, 2012 at 8:14am
I say get rid of all the people elected to any office in cannon county, regardless of what position they hold and start anew with different people. Give different outlooks on issues. All you can do is VOTE! In the end it's the results of the majority. But whatever you do, please exercise your RIGHT to vote. That's a freedom we need to use!
January 06, 2012 at 11:06am
junebug most of the time I agree with you, but on this one I will have to disagree.

It is not a wise thing to throw away all the apples in the barrel just because a few are rotten.

I think if we focused the energy on the people who say they are working for the good of the community and yet have a proven record of not doing anything except work toward getting re-elected then we help solve a lot of the problems Cannon County faces.

We have several elected officials who are good people and who I genuinely think are trying to help us.

Then we have others that will kiss the babies, shake your hand, tell you what they think you want to hear and are useless as teats on a boar hog.

All this of course is strictly my opinion!

Thanks and have a good day!
January 06, 2012 at 3:31pm
How much will it cost in gas for voters drive across the county to vote ? Or was ever considered?
January 06, 2012 at 6:25pm
"How much will it cost in gas for voters drive across the county to vote ? Or was ever considered?" Much less than a increase in taxes. Guys you it's not like you go vote everyday. In Iraq I watched people walk for miles and risk death to vote. But we can't drive out of our way to vote.
January 06, 2012 at 9:38pm
Mae Beavers is the one that made the changes at the Election Commission. She stacked the deck so that an outsider is now in control. We do need to save money where we can save money and maybe there is way to save money, but I don't think all options have been explored. I live in District 2, one mile from Eastside and have to drive to Auburntown to vote. I too always vote early, but going to Auburntown does not make sense.
James Adkins
January 07, 2012 at 6:43am
7mm08 THANK YOU. many of you will crank up your gas hogs to go to wallie world twice a week to load up on trash and junk, so once every two years swing buy and vote or NOT, but lets try to take the time every now and then to appreciate and comprend the cost of our freedom to make that choice.
January 07, 2012 at 6:50am
As I stated above the changes were made by a unanimous vote by both DEMOCRATS and REPUBLICANS.

No matter how much anyone believes that Mae Beavers stacked any deck it was 5-0 to make these changes made by the election commission officers who live in CANNON COUNTY!

If you use the logic that Mae stacked the deck then she must have stacked the deck on the Democratic side as well or otherwise it would not have been a 5-0 vote. UNANIMOUS means everyone voted to make the changes.

This is nothing political about these changes in my opinion; this was simply about moving district precincts to save money. I don't believe for one second there was a grand conspiracy by either party.

To be honest I think it was wonderful to see both parties agree on something and make a change that saves the taxpayer money. How nice would that logic be if it were used more on a state and federal level?

7mm08 thanks for your service to our country. I appreciate it very much. And you nailed it. We have become so pampered in America and so engrossed in the idea that we are "entitled" to the right to vote we don't appreciate the fact that we have it so easy compared to other countries!

This is about tradition and nothing more. I don’t like it that I got moved either, but in the grand scheme of life this is much ado about nothing.
January 07, 2012 at 9:11am
Thank you Corey. People in other countries stand in long lines all day just to vote, and some people in Cannon County complain about driving a nice car 5 miles to vote??? Says a lot for the "entitled" mentality that has taken over our country. The Election Commission was doing what every other department in the county was asked to do - find ways to save the county taxpayers money. Why are they being berated for doing this? The elections in Cannon County are handled fair and efficiently and according to the letter of the law. Citizens should be grateful they have a good group of Democrats and Republicans who can work together for the benefit of the county. Stop complaining and be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
January 10, 2012 at 10:44pm
Yes, let's be a part of the solution, AMEN!
January 13, 2012 at 7:05am
Some of those people who have to drive a long distance to vote are on fixed incomes, they watch where they have to go because they can only buy so much gas,and I also bet that some don't even have health insurance, and if they do they have co-pays. Not to mention high food cost, these people that are asked to drive a long distance to vote, do not come through town everyday, they are just struggling to survive. Either way it is very sad.
January 13, 2012 at 8:14am
So why are the people that live in the Short Mt. and Pleasant Ridge communities on fixed incomes any better than the people that have to vote at Westside and live way out near Manchester Hwy? They manage to get to the polls or to Woodbury to early vote without complaining. It is just the "well we have always done it this way and we don't want to change for any reason" mentality that is causing all the controversy. We need to think what is good for all citizens who are having a hard time financially paying their taxes.

January 14, 2012 at 1:58pm
Maybe it comes down to the simple fact, that people are somewhat fearful of change. On the other hand perhaps people just plain old don't like being told what to do without being offered a choice. You really didn't exactly present it well to the people. You could have told them first of the options of early voting, or even absentee voting. If a person has always done something the same way their entire life, they aren't aware of these options. The people out in the outer parts of the county may sometime feel left out of things, to the point of not being treated the same as people in town. In a nut shell, changes do happen, people have to learn to adjust.
January 21, 2012 at 2:17pm
Since I have not seen much effort to address these and many other questions and concerns from our Citizens, by other Election Commissioners, I offer my sincere efforts and hopes of providing more understanding.

@Carol Fletcher
The changes made at the Nov. 7th meeting, after discussions of our Budget having been reduced by the Cannon County Commissioners, the relative few voters at some of the multiple precinct poll locations and the Law's requirement that all voters must vote in the precinct they live in, brought us to the vote (which was unanimous) by all Election Commissioners to direct our Administrator of Elections-Stan Dobson to make the changes that ALL Cannon County Citizens were notified of in November.

I hope you are VERY aware that in the West Side and Woodland voting precincts, many more voters are driving many more than the 2 miles you are currently driving, on very narrow and hilly roads in order to vote at ONE polling location, each and every time they vote at the polls.

My questions to you--By your apparent reasoning, we should open more polling locations in the West Side and Woodland voting precincts, at additional tax payer cost, or.... are you saying that only the Short Mt. and Pleasant Ridge voters deserve multiple polling locations for the reasons you cite and that West Side and Woodland voters do not?

Please share your responses from your "cc" list cc: Secretary of State/Head of Elections: Tre Hargett
Senator: Mae Beavers
Representative: Mark Pody

You might want to speak with the other Election Commissioners, Sue Patrick, Jackie Gannon and Louise Mayo and ask them directly for the reasons why they voted in Nov. to make the changes and then two months later, voted to undo them. Ask them if they were mislead, mistaken or ?

You do have your right to vote...and you can use it to vote for leaders who will use logic, reason and wisdom in spending precious tax resources, or you can vote in more foolish leaders who will flip flop, take two steps forward and three steps back, on issues to take our County and our Nation into further debt and wasteful spending. Some voters do continue to support such leaders. Some however, recognize this is not working out too well. Debt is killing our Nation.

I hope each time you do vote, your votes will be counted by Honest Election Officials who will insist on knowing and insuring that every voter is actually a living and lawful voter and that EVERY ballot cast is tabulated in a Honest, Transparent and Lawful manner. Those who will not insist on proper photo identification in order to cast a ballot, are leaving the door wide open for those who would collect obituary notice information in each county and then folks affiliated with groups such as ACORN could (as was clearly demonstrated on news programs)use the names of deceased people when requesting ballot and voter access at every poll location. Our laws prevent multiple or deceased votes in order to insure the integrity of our elections. Some folks are more interested in winning elections by any means possible. Photo Identification is a road block to such efforts.... but you have leaders who oppose this common sense law.

You failed to mention two options available to you and other voters, such as 1) early voting downtown Woodbury or 2) absentee balloting. Were these convenient options not known by you, or were they left out of your letter intentionally so as not to detract from your illustrations of driving the miles and hills you cited......just curious?

I do share your frustration.
I have been a Volunteer Firefighter in Cannon County (18 yrs) and am one of the founding members of the West Side Volunteer Department. Our County has some great Volunteers and Servants that have made great sacrifices and contributions to our County. Sometimes, while serving as First Responders and Firefighters, we face risks and injury, yet I don't hear much complaining from our outstanding Volunteers. Not all who complain, would serve or sacrifice anything, so I am thankful for those who do!
The "throw the bums out" is a catchy phrase and some times may seem tempting. However, if voters were more thoughtful and informed, voted their values and participated in civic matters and issues, I believe this solution would make for better leadership in our County, State and Nation, rather than lumping them all together and throwing them all out. In such a plan or thought....many other foolish self-serving crooks would inevitably be in those very positions just vacated by the throw them all out proposition.

Thank you for your service and I offer a big ol Semper Fi !
Freedom comes at a very High cost. Not all who complain understand or have helped pay this cost with any personal sacrifice or loss. All should keep our Troops, their families and our Nation and Leaders in their constant prayers.

I don't have an answer for such a question. However, I would state from my perspective, that there are FAR MORE miles driven and thus greater gas cost for much higher volume of voters driving to a single location in West Side and Woodland poll locations.
Would you agree or disagree?

You cite:
"Mae Beavers is the one that made the changes at the Election Commission. She stacked the deck so that an outsider is now in control"

Fact-Senator Mae Beavers made recommendations to the full State Election Commission comprised of Republicans and Democrats. This by-partisan Commission discussed and confirmed those who would serve at each County. Stacked deck, outsider, conspiracy...? Wow what an uninformed or misinformed concept!

Times are tough, money is tight and needs to ALWAYS be spent wisely. What about those voters in West Side and Woodland? Are those voters equally shouldering those very same burdens?

You are correct that folks can be fearful of change. The changes that were made in Nov. were made considering ALL of Cannon County voters and our pledge to spend the tax resources that we Election Commissioners are responsible for. The Cannon Courier did run articles following and preceding this action, detailing various aspects of the elections, candidates, voter identification law, absentee and early voting options.

I wish there was a good way to include EVERY Citizen in such decisions in a timely manner. The 2012 election cycle is in full swing with mandates and deadlines firmly set in place. Time was not a luxury we Commissioners had in dealing with the Budget cuts handed back to us by the full County Commissioners.

*If there was a way to vote the entire County and the result was that the majority or our Citizens supported the very changes and were thankful for the tax dollar savings that were made regarding Short Mt. and Pleasant Ridge, do you suppose there would be less complaining?

*Would the material facts or money saved, change in any way shape or form?

Matt Studd
Election Commissioner (for ALL Cannon County Citizens and Voters)
January 21, 2012 at 6:50pm

For those who say we don't need photo identification laws to protect our elections, here is a posting fresh from South Carolina. Yes, dishonest people will use the names of deceased people in order to steal elections.


Matt Studd
Election Commissioner

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