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Dandridge, Tennessee

February 20, 2012 www.jeffersoncountypost.com

EARLY VOTING SLOW TO START
Number of early voters well below 2008 
 
Staff Photo

Two Party Primary Does Little To Bolster Early Voting Turnout

February 15, 2012 was the initial day that Jefferson County voters could cast their Early Voting Ballots for the March 6, 2012 election. The March election has particular distinction in Jefferson County because this election will include both a Republican and Democrat primary. Jefferson County has not, in past primary elections, had both parties represented. According to Charles Gibson, Jefferson County Administrator of Elections, the Party Chairman must request a primary for their Party. In the past, there has traditionally not been a Democrat representative in the County and, therefore, no call for a primary. The changing face of politics in Jefferson County, with the influx of residents relocating from other areas, has resulted in a Democrat primary, for what is largely believed to be second time in the County. Even the two Party Primary has done little to bolster the early voting and absentee numbers, thus far. In the 2008 Primary,

Jefferson County voted 2,010 in early voting and 6,000 in the full Primary. A staggering 18,000, which far surpassed previous Jefferson County voting numbers, voted in the 2008 November Presidential Election. After four days of early voting the total of votes cast stands at 441. Gibson stated that the numbers appear to be lagging, however voters may be waiting to cast their ballots closer to the close of early voting. It is possible that Republican voters may be holding their votes to assure that their candidate of choice is still viable in the election, as the field of candidates has narrowed considerably. Another reason for the slow voter turn out may be the lack of highly contested local elections. Assessor of Property is the only local position that is contested and there is only one Republican and Democrat running for the office, meaning that they will face off in the Fall. According to Gibson, in Counties with more highly anticipated local contests, the voting numbers are much better. In 2010, the polls to early vote split was 50-50 of the total voters. Gibson stated that there has been no issue with the newly instigated voted photo id requirement and that early voters, who take the initiative to come in to vote, are generally conscious. Absentee voting, which has also begun, has brought in 85 votes. Absentee voters are not required to have a photo id. The total of 441 votes includes the absentee number. Minus the absentee votes, the tally stands at 356 votes, as of the close of the Election Office on Saturday. The highest early voting day has been on Friday when the main and satellite office voted a total of 126. The Election Office has established satellite offices to ease the voting process. Jefferson County voters can cast their ballots at the Jefferson County Election Office in Dandridge throughout the week or at New Market City Hall on Monday, Wednesday and Friday till 4pm. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday a satellite office will be open at the EMS Station off of Roy Messer Highway till 4 on weekdays and noon on Saturday. All County Offices, including the Election Office and satellite offices, will be closed on Monday, February 20,2012 for a Federal Holiday. They will reopen on Tuesday on regular schedule. Gibson and his staff hope that the voting numbers will pick up this week and that the dismal showing is not indicative of Primary totals. [ Sample Ballot ] 


Jefferson County Building Inspection Board of Appeals

 
Staff Photo

The Jefferson County Building Inspection Board of Appeals held a meeting on Thursday, February 16, 2012 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Board Chairman Carmichael.

Chairman Carmichael introduced new Board Members and Called Roll. Present were Committee Members Carr, Michew, Carmichael, Mitchell, and Franklin. Absent was Board Member Tucker.

Board Member Michew nominated Board Member Franklin for the position of Secretary. 2nd Mitchell-Unanimously Approved.

Chairman Carmichael addressed the Committee regarding standards of ethics. He reviewed for the Board confidentially, the application and process for appeals and the authority of the Board.

The Board reviewed Resolution 2008-42, which established the Building Inspection Board of Appeals. Upon a Motion from Franklin and 2nd from Carr the Board unanimously voted that the Building Inspector will be present for public appeal, however will not sit with appellant.

Board Member Michew made a Motion to add Inspection Cards-Instruction for Notice of Appeals-to include direction of Appellant to the Jefferson County Mayor’s Office and add contact information to the Inspection Card. 2nd Mitchell- Passed Unanimously.

Board Member Michew moved to change wording in the Resolution to substitute Building Inspection Board (BIB) for Oversight Board, Secretary with Mayor’s Office and Building Inspection Board of Appeals Secretary and include Petitioner and Chairman of the BIB. 2nd Carr-Unanimously Passed.  The Meeting was Adjourned.

Happy President's Day

But Which One?

Jefferson County residents, along with the Nation, celebrate the 3rd Monday in February as a Federal Holiday widely known as President’s Day. In truth, there is no legal holiday that is known as President’s Day. The Nation has celebrated the birth of George Washington since the 1800’s. His actual day of birth is February 22, however Congress elected to include Washington’s birthday in the 1968 Act that moved several Federal Holidays to Mondays for extended employee weekends. At that time, there was a movement by some Congressmen to change the name to President’s Day and include other Presidents.. The movement was initiated, in part, because some States celebrated Lincoln’s February birthday and Jefferson’s April birth, as well as Washington’s. The movement did not garner enough support and failed to pass Congress. The 3rd Monday in February is still legally known as Washington’s Birthday. In the 1970’s, driven by retailers that believed that President’s Day carried more punch than Washington’s Birthday, the name change picked up steam. Though the day is now largely referred to as President’s Day, the 3rd Monday in February remains the Federally recognized acknowledgement of Washington’s Birthday. Some Historians are encouraged that the day brings an opportunity for educators to discuss information about other Presidents, instead of limiting the scope to just the Founding Father. Washington is the only President whose birth is formally acknowledged as a National Holiday.


Iranian Warships Cross Suez Canal
Destination Still Unknown
By Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

On Saturday, February 18, 2012, two Iranian warships sailed into Mediterranean waters. This voyage marks only the second occasion that Iranian warships have crossed the Suez Canal since the country’s 1979 revolution. Iranian Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari claims that the ships are intended to carry a message of peace and friendship to other countries in the region, as well as display the country’s might. Currently, the destination of the ships (one destroyer class ship and one supply cruiser) is unknown, although there are unconfirmed reports that the ships are headed to Syria. As the ships have set sail during a time where Iranian-Israeli tensions are high, the ships are under close watch as they make their journey. On Friday, February 17, 2012, the United States welcomed a letter from Iran stating that talks of the country’s nuclear program will resume: negotiations about the program had ceased under the pressure from Allied countries regarding Iran’s potential building of a nuclear weapon. Although some United States officials have, unofficially, reported skepticism over Iran’s sincerity regarding the talks, the news presents a slight relief from the ever-increasing tensions of late. As of this writing, no details are known about when the discussion of Iran’s nuclear program will commence, although more information is likely to unfold in the coming days.


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February 20, 2012 Go To Page

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