Monday, last day to register to vote

Friday, February 3, 2012

The last day to register to vote in the Presidential Primary on March 6 is Monday, according to Marshall County Elections Administrator Tristan Arnold.

Given poll results as reported in national news media, it would appear that President Barrack Obama will be challenged by either former House Speaker Newt Gingrich or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

With 11,287 Marshall County voters casting ballots in the 2008 presidential election, Sen. John McCain out-polled Obama here 59 percent to 38 percent with the balance going to various other candidates including Ralph Nader.

There are 17,817 Marshall County residents who were registered to vote as of Wednesday morning.

Also on March 6, Chapel Hill will hold its election for three seats on the town's Board of Mayor and Aldermen. To vote in that town's election, Chapel Hill residents - those who live within the corporate boundaries of the municipality - must be registered no later than Monday.

The incumbent aldermen are Dorothy Morton, Marion Joyce and Horace Hill.

Meanwhile, Marshall County Attorney Bill Haywood, who's been serving as Chapel Hill's city judge, has tossed his hat in the ring as a candidate for the bench seat now held by Marshall County General Sessions and Juvenile Court Judge Lee Bussart-Bowles.

Appointed Oct. 6 by county commissioners, Bowles succeeded Steve Bowden who served as sessions court judge for nearly 34 years. The winner of the Aug. 2 county general election for judge would serve until what would have been the end of Bowden's term in September 2014. Judges serve eight-year terms.

Another significant election for the county is for property assessor, a position from which the incumbent is retiring. Elected in 1992, Linda Haislip has worked in that office for 33 years and will become the GIS (Geographic Information System) coordinator for the Marshall County Emergency Communications District, also known as the 911 Board.

"I'll be doing all the mapping and maintaining the data base," Haislip said. "All of Tennessee is going to the Next Generation 911, a seamless map, so emergency responders can find you anywhere in Tennessee."

Under state law, a GIS coordinator is required for each 911 Distric and Haislip is filling that position in Marshall County. She's been assisting the Marshall County Emergency Communications District Board for several years because of her awareness of addresses and related insights.

So, there's an political opening and Vickie Campbell of Cornersville has picked up a petition to be named on the August ballot as a candidate for assessor. Picking up a petition - it's to be signed by 25 registered voters in the jurisdiction - does not mean the individual will actually run for the office.

However, William Smith "Billy" Lanier of Lewisburg has filed a petition to run for assessor, and Haywood has filed his petition to run for judge.

Lanier and Haywood are the only two who have filed petitions to be candidates. Lanier filed his on Jan. 23. Haywood filed on Jan. 20.

"Since Jan. 6, the election office has started issuing petitions," Arnold said.

Five county school board districts will have elections in August. Those districts are 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8. The incumbents in those districts are, respectively, Randy Perryman, Harvey Jones, Sam Smith, Ann Tears and Curt Denton.

Two state legislative positions will be important to voters in August and November as redistricting has been accomplished by the General Assembly.

Currently, state Rep. Eddie Bass (D-Prospect) and state Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) represent Marshall County in the state House and Senate, respectively. They won't next year because district lines have changed.

There have been other dramatic chages for district lines, a fact acknowledged by a state elections official.

"During years of reapportionment, the state coordinator of elections, Mark Goins, can delay the first day to issue petitions in state races, and he did," Arnold said.

Noon, April 5, is the deadline for candidates to file petitions to be named on ballots in the Aug. 2 state primaries and the county's general elections.