Hamilton County voters receiving new cards

Hamilton County voters receiving new cards

July 2nd, 2012 by Ansley Haman in News

People vote at Burk's United Methodist Church in Hixson.

Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse/Times Free Press.

EARLY VOTING

Last day to register to vote: Tuesday

Early voting dates: July 13-28

Places and times:

• Brainerd Rec Center, 1010 N. Moore Road, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday

• Eastwood Church, 4300 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday

• Hamilton County Election Commission, 700 River Terminal Road, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday

• Northgate Mall, entrance at former Shane's Rib Shack/Pizza Hut near Belk, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Source: Hamilton County Election Commission

2012 POLLING PLACE CHANGES

CLOSED: Cedar Hill (Cedar Hill Community Center) -- Voters merge with East Lake at the East Lake Recreation Center Gym

CLOSED: Clifton Hills 1 and 2 (Temple Baptist Church) -- Voters merge with Eastside 1 and 2 at the Tennessee Temple High School gym

MOVED: Eastside -- Now at Tennessee Temple High School gym

CLOSED: Harrison 3 and 4 (Cornerstone Baptist Church) -- Voters merge into new Harrison precincts at the Harrison Ruritan Club or Bayside Baptist Church

CLOSED: Highland Park (Highland Park neighborhood center) -- Voters merge with Ridgedale 1 and 2 at Ridgedale Church of Christ or Eastside 1 and 2 at Tennessee Temple High School gym

CLOSED: Howard (Howard School gym lobby) -- Voters merge with Alton Park at the Bethlehem Center

MOVED: Northwoods 1-5 -- Now at Calvary Baptist Church in the activities building

CLOSED: Piney Woods (Wheeler Homes office) -- Voters merge with Alton Park at the Bethlehem Center

MOVED: Signal Mountain -- Now at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church

MOVED: Summit -- Now at Silverdale Cumberland Presbyterian Church

CLOSED: Sunnyside (Friendship Community Church) -- Voters merge with Missionary Ridge at the Missionary Ridge Neighborhood Association's old fire hall and Eastdale at the Eastdale Recreation Center

Source: Hamilton County Election Commission

PHOTO ID REQUIRED

Acceptable forms include:

• Tennessee driver's license with a photo (current or expired)

• A driver's license issued by another state (current or expired)

• U.S. passport

• Federal employee ID with photo

• State employee ID with photo (including those issued by state universities)

• U.S. military ID

• Gun permit card with a photo

• Student ID cards from state universities are NOT acceptable

(ID law applies only to those voting in person. People casting absentee ballots, including those age 65 or older who wish to vote absentee or those voting at licensed nursing homes, are exempt.)

Source: Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security

A product of recent redistricting is arriving in mailboxes of many Hamilton County residents.

The election commission is sending out 202,444 new voter registration cards with information about new polling places and, for many, new political districts for the Aug. 2 state primary and county general election.

"That's everybody that has had a change," said Hamilton County Elections Administrator Charlotte Mullis-Morgan.

She estimated the number of new cards is higher than the total number of Hamilton County residents who were registered to vote during the last redistricting process.

Every 10 years, after the U.S. census, governments must redraw political boundaries to balance population shifts.

This year's new state map is the first stab at redistricting by a Republican-controlled Tennessee General Assembly, which was controlled by Democrats from Civil War Reconstruction until the most recent decade.

"The biggest changes are from the House, the state lines," said Mullis-Morgan.

Local governments also changed their political boundaries. Those, too, are incorporated in new precinct lines. Some polling places also have changed.

Though registration cards remind voters where to report, they are no longer enough to actually cast a ballot.

This is the first election season under the state's 2011 voter ID law. Voters must bring a photo ID issued by the federal government or a state government to the polls.

Registered voters who need a qualified photo ID can get one from a state driver service center. There are two in Hamilton County, at 6502 Bonny Oaks Drive and 4873 Dayton Blvd.

As of June 23, the state had issued 23,734 voter IDs or free photo upgrades for those 60 and older with nonphoto licenses, Department of Safety spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals said Friday. In Hamilton County, the number was 1,175.

At one point, state officials estimated that as many as 7,000 registered Hamilton County voters held nonphoto licenses.

Though the photo ID requirement was in place for the March presidential primary, most of the August races will be the first test of the new political boundaries. Only Hamilton County Commission District 3 voted on the new lines in March.