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Voting in future elections requires some preparation

By: Marlana Ward
Freelance Writer

With the highly anticipated presidential election fast approaching, it is important that all eligible voters be aware of looming deadlines. Even though the majority of attention is being placed on November’s presidential showdown, there are many important elections and deadlines coming soon.
Overseeing this year’s elections in Johnson County will be recently appointed Administrator of Elections Cheri Lipford. In order to be certified as an administrator, Lipford had to take part in a training program covering 40 topics related to elections in Tennessee.  After completion of the training, a three and a half hour exam must be passed to show understanding of state laws and processes regarding elections. Lipford obtained her certification on December 14, 2015.  
The first date to be mindful of is February 1st. This will be the last date for anyone wishing to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary on March 1st to be registered.
“The primary ballot is long.  If anyone would like to review the ballot beforehand, a sample will be available at the Election Commission Office.  It will also be printed in an upcoming edition of The Tomahawk,” explained Lipford.
The early voting period for the Presidential Primary will be February 10-23.  
The State Primary and County General election date is August 4.
“This year’s County General Election will include Tax Assessor and District 2 School Board elections,” Lipford informed.
November 8th will be the busiest day at the polls as the nation decides the next President of the United States.
“If you need to update any information or review your current voter information, coming by the office in advance of election day can really help keep wait times down,” Lipford encouraged.
Voters wishing to vote by mail will need to request their ballot at least seven days before an election date.  Those eligible to vote by mail include voters who will be out of the county, college students attending school outside of the county, voters with physical disabilities, and voters over the age of 60.  Additional eligible categories may be found at GoVoteTN.com
Persons with physical limitations choosing to vote in person at their local polling place will have appropriate accommodations available to them to allow for private, independent voting.  Voters may also request assistance with the voting process by speaking with an election official at the poll location.  

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.