Early voting started Friday in Hamilton County. Here's what you need to know.

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / A Hamilton County voter fills out his early voting ballot Friday, July 15, 2022, at the Hamilton County Election Commission. Early voting for the State and Federal Primary and State and County General Election began Friday and will run until July 30. Election day is Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022.

Early voting began Friday for the Aug. 4 general election, which will include showdowns for Hamilton County mayor, district attorney, school board and County Commission.

Voters will also consider party nominations for certain state and federal offices, including a Democratic nominee for governor.

Kristi Berry, chief deputy with the Hamilton County Election Commission, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press by email Friday that as of 1 p.m., 520 people had voted across the county's six early voting sites.

Typically, about half of participating voters will end up casting their ballots during the early voting period, she said, which runs through July 30. The rest will vote on election day on Aug. 4.

Berry said she anticipates turnout for the Aug. 4 general election will be roughly equivalent to the number of people who voted in the May primary.

Out of the county's 232,752 eligible voters in May, 48,848 cast votes in the county primary, a turnout of about 21%.

WHERE AND WHEN CAN I VOTE?

Most early voting locations will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The site at the Election Commission offices on River Terminal Road will be open longer: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Early voting locations in Hamilton County include:

- Election Commission at 700 River Terminal Road.

- Hixson Community Center at 5401 School Drive.

- Brainerd Rec Center at 1010 N. Moore Road.

- Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Training Center at 9108 Snow Hill Road.

- Collegedale City Hall at 4910 Swinyar Drive.

- Soddy-Daisy Community Center at 190 Depot St.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NOTABLE RACES?

Republican Weston Wamp and Democrat Matt Adams are vying to replace outgoing Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, who is stepping down after roughly 11 years on the job.

Wamp, 35, is a local entrepreneur and the son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Chattanooga. In 2019, he created a nonprofit organization called the Millennial Debt Foundation that focuses on bringing attention to America's ballooning national debt.

Adams, 26, is a paralegal and enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was 17 years old, working in national security law as well as criminal prosecution and defense. He is now in the U.S. Army Reserves and serves as a senior administrative paralegal.

Wamp defeated two opponents, Hamilton County Commission Chairwoman Sabrena Smedley and businessman Matt Hullander, in the Republican primary in May. Adams ran unopposed. Both would be the youngest mayor in Hamilton County since the job was created almost half a century ago.

Republican Coty Wamp, a law enforcement attorney who is Weston Wamp's sister, unseated incumbent Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston by a decisive margin in the Republican primary in May. She'll face Democrat John Allen Brooks, an attorney and former Hamilton County commissioner who ran unopposed in the primary, next month.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond, meanwhile, is retiring this year after three terms in the position. His chief deputy, Austin Garrett, won the Republican primary in May without opposition and won't face an opponent in the Aug. 4 general election.

In September, the County Commission will grow from nine seats to 11. Two incumbents, Commissioner David Sharpe, D-Red Bank, and Commissioner Steve Highlander, R-Ooltewah, will face respective challengers Ruth Jeno and Steve A. Caudle. Democrat Montrell Besley is squaring off against Republican Joe Graham for the newly created District 11 seat, which includes Alton Park, Lookout Valley and St. Elmo.

City residents in District 8 will also choose their representative on the Chattanooga City Council. District 8 includes the precincts of Amnicola, Avondale, Bushtown, Courthouse 1 & 2 and Eastside 1 & 2.

Councilwoman Marvene Noel, of Orchard Knob, was appointed to the seat in March after former Councilman Anthony Byrd left to take a position in Mayor Tim Kelly's administration. Noel is running against challengers Marie Mott and Malarie B. Marsh.

Visit elect.hamiltontn.gov to find a full sample ballot.

Contact David Floyd at dfloyd@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6249. Follow him on Twitter @flavid_doyd.