Blount County early vote totals released

On election day 2006, voters trek through rain to cast votes

Blount County voters went to the polls today to choose between six individuals running for three contested seats on the Maryville City Council. Louisville residents also chose between four individuals for two aldermen seats and two individuals seeking the mayor’s job. In Alcoa and Townsend, voters chose whether or not they wanted a liquor store (in Alcoa) and liquor-by-the-drink (in Townsend.) Voters also turned out for the much anticipated U.S. senatorial fight between Democrat Harold Ford Jr. of Memphis and Republican Bob Corker of Chattanooga. Republican Jim Bryson of Franklin was on the ballot against Democrat Phil Bredesen and voters also decided "yes" or "no" regarding amendments regarding gay marriage and a measure that would give counties the right to freeze property taxes for seniors.

A total of approximately 12,000 voters, 3,000 more than the last mid-term election four years ago, took advantage of early voting, said Becky Harrell, Blount County elections administrator.

At a little after 8 p.m., with the polls closing in Blount County, the Blount County Election Commission released the totals from Early Voting. The numbers below represent the machine totals only and do not include those who voted early using paper ballots.

In the race for Maryville City Council, where the top three will be elected:

Grant Cash -- 493
Tommy Hunt --1,740
Ron Ivens -- 1,295
Fred Metz -- 976
Darrell Tipton -- 1,152
Andy White -- 1,468

On the Alcoa referendum to allow package stores:
For -- 507
Against -- 308

In Townsend, For sale of alcohol by the drink:
Yes -9
No -- 25

In the Louisville mayor's election:
Geraldine Anderson -- 116
Lynn Robert -- 108

In the Louisville election for alderman, where the top two vote getters will be elected:
Bob Gormley -- 96
Bill Marcus -- 91
Mark Thurston -- 104
Rob Tingle -- 116

In Blount County, the race for U.S. Senate:
Bob Corker -- 6,653
Ford -- 4,199

For Governor;
Bredesen -- 7,558
Bryson -- 3,273

It didn’t appear the rain had kept anyone away from the polls. If Blount County Elections administrator Becky Harrell didn’t know any better, it would appear this was a presidential election, not a mid-term vote.

"We’ve been extremely busy for a non-presidential year," she said. "We’re real happy. I don’t know if it’s the amendments or the senate race or the Alcoa liquor referendum as well as a liquor vote in Townsend."
When it rains fewer voters turn out, "but not today," she said. According to Harrell, it appeared this was going to be an election with a high number of voters when there were 3,000 more early voters (12,000) than in the last mid-term election four years ago.
Harrell said the approximately 300 elections workers and volunteers have been busy. "They’re busy, real busy," she said of workers at the 51 precincts. "It’s moving pretty swiftly. Phone calls coming in are people who don’t know what precinct to go to."

Harrell said at about 5 p.m. today she didn’t expect the vote count to go any later than about 9 p.m. "I hope it’s not long unless there’s mechanical problems," he said.
Harrell said election day is usually a long, 16-hour day. This will be the last long election day Harrell will work as administrator. After 22 years with the office and 21 years as administrator, she’ll retire in two weeks. Libby Breeding of Blount County will replace her.
"I’ve been so busy, I’ve haven’t had time to think about it, but election night is exciting," she said.

Blount Today will update voter totals as we get them from the election commission.

© 2006 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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