Some Kingsport voters showing up at wrong precinct

Matthew Lane • May 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

KINGSPORT - Just because early voting took place at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium, it does not mean that’s where you’re supposed to vote today.

In fact, Sullivan County Administrator of Elections Jason Booher suggests voters make sure they know the precinct where they're supposed to vote before they head to the polls.

Today is election day in Kingsport, Bristol and Bluff City with voters going to the polls until 8 p.m. this evening to elect mayoral, aldermen, councilmen and school board members. However, some people are showing up at the Civic Auditorium, planning to cast their ballot, but are being told they're in the wrong place.

As in previous elections, when early voting began this month, the initial location was in Blountville, but eight days later satellite voting locations opened in Bristol and Kingsport. Since people knew early voting took place at the Civic Auditorium, they likely assumed that's where you vote on election day.

"This is not anything unusual and it happens in every election in every county that has satellite early voting," said Booher. "It happens in Bristol and Blountville, but more at the Civic Auditorium since it's more visible and easily identifiable for most voters."

Booher said his office does everything it can to inform the public about the rules and requirements for voting, including running a legal notice in the newspaper, to having a Frequently Asked Question section on the election commission's website, to mailing information notices to every voter in the recently consolidated precincts.

"If someone shows up and they're not supposed to vote at the Civic Auditorium, call my office, give them your name and we'll tell you where they need to vote," Booher said.

For a list of precincts in Sullivan County, visit the Sullivan County Election Commission’s website at www.scelect.org and click on the "Municipal Election Voting Locations" link. In addition, voters can go the "Registration" link on the page, click on "Registration Lookup" and enter your name and last four digits of your Social Security number to determine your precinct location.

The SCEC's phone number is 323-6444.

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