City of Chattanooga denied on extra early voting sites

photo Chattanooga City Attorney Mike McMahan

Chattanooga is unlikely to get additional early voting sites for its March election, according to the city of Chattanooga's city attorney.

Though the Chattanooga City Council voted last week to add early voting sites, City Attorney Mike McMahan told the council Tuesday that Hamilton County Election Commissioner Charlotte Mullis-Morgan did not want sites added.

"She was adamant basically that they were not going to establish four [satellite] voting locations," McMahan said.

McMahan said Mullis-Mogran cited problems with Internet availability and possible favoritism.

The council asked that polling places in St. Elmo and Lookout Valley be added to the three traditional sites -- the Brainerd Recreation Center, the Hamilton County Election Commission and Northgate Mall.

Resident Patrick Kellogg told the council that not having the sites could hinder voting rights.

"Not allowing either the Bethlehem Center or the Howard High School to be an early voting site disenfranchises a lot of people on that side of town," he said.

The council also decided to move forward with an electronic content management software suite from Armedia LLC, which will allow the city to move all departmental records into an electronic format, doing away with paper files.

City Judge Russell Bean said at a budget session earlier in the day that judges had not been included in talks with the software provider, even though the court was chosen as the first department to implement the software.

The language that linked the purchase of the software to the City Court was deleted before the council meeting, and Councilman Andrae McGary said he saw no reason not to move forward with the purchase.

The final vote on the issue will be on Jan. 8.