Early voting to begin Oct. 15

By MIKE WEST, Courier Editor

Early voting begins Wednesday, Oct. 15 for the State General Election.

Registered voters can cast their ballots early until Oct. 30 at the Cannon County Election Office. Voting will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 1 to 6 p.m., on Thursdays and from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturdays.

In addition to the statewide election, several local issues will be of interest to voters in Cannon County.

* First is the Cannon County Board of Education election. Two candidates have qualified for the District Two seat, Frank Walkup and Tim Powers. The district includes Auburntown, Gassaway, Pleasant Ridge and Short Mountain 2.

* Cannon County voters will also vote on an alcohol-related question. Citizens can vote either for or against the legal sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises. If approved, this would allow customers to legally imbibe at local restaurants that meet Tennessee licensing procedures.

* The most controversial of the measures is a resolution dealing with the route of state Route 70S,
Voters can cast ballots in favor of a Northern Route, Southern Route, a Center Route through Woodbury ... or for leaving the road incomplete.

"The following question is for advisory purposes only. No legal effect shall result from the adoption or rejection of any route," states the resolution.

Three alternatives have been suggested. The Center Route follows the current road through downtown Woodbury. The northern path goes north of town and near Stones River Hospital. The third path travels south near Houston Hills subdivision connecting into state Route 53 near Cannon Market.

Voters will also cast ballots in the gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and Congress and state Senate and Legislature races.

In the governor's race, Republican incumbent Bill Haslam faces Democratic nominee Charlie Brown and five other challengers including independent candidate John Jay Hooker.

In the Senate race, incumbent Lamar Alexander is challenged by Democrat Gordon Ball and 10 other candidates.

Congressman Diane Black, R-6th District, is squared off against Democrat Amos Scott Powers and Independent Mike Winton.

State Sen. Mae Beavers is unapposed in the 17th Tennessee Senatorial District.

State Rep. Mark Pody is being challenged by Democrat Candace Reed for the 46th District seat.

Four Constitutional Amendments are also on the ballot.

* Constitutional Amendment #1 would insert constitutional language empowering the Tennessee Legislature to enact, amend or repeal state statutes regarding abortion, including for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to protect the mother's life.

This amendment began as Senate Joint Resolution 127 sponsored by state Sens. Mae Beavers and Diane Black, who was serving as a state senator at the time of the bill's passage.

* Constitutional Amendment #2 asks voters to officially accept the judicial selection system for 29 state appellate court judges that is already in place -- by statute, but not in the state Constitution -- with one modification. That modification is that if the Legislature does not act to confirm one way or the other within 60 days, the governor's appointment is automatically confirmed.