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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Poll worker James Gladden sets up partitions while preparing for early voting at the Brainerd Youth and Family Development Center for the November 2020 general election.

This story was updated at 1:19 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, 2021, with more information.

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the Hamilton County Election Commission and all early voting sites will be closing Thursday, March 25 at 2 p.m. "to protect voters and election commission staff's safety," according to a news release. Regular business and voting hours will resume on Friday. 

Early voting for the three Chattanooga municipal runoff elections begins Wednesday, March 24,  and runs through April 8.

Here's what you need to know to vote early:

What's on the ballot?

During the city's March 2 general election, the mayor's seat and each of the nine city council seats were open at the end of their four-year terms. Of those 10 seats, mayor, District 2 and District 5 elections entered runoffs after no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, which is the threshold to win outright in the general election.

Now, business owner Tim Kelly and former River City Co. President and CEO Kim White are facing off to replace outgoing Mayor Andy Berke, who will leave office in April.

Kelly and White were the two top vote-getting candidates in the field of 15 originally appearing on the ballot for the seat.

(READ MORE: How the two Chattanooga mayoral candidates compare)

In Distrct 2, Hamilton County Board of Education Member Jenny Hill and business owner Thomas Lee are competing to represent the council district as Councilman Jerry Mitchell prepares to retire.

Hill and Lee were the two top vote-getters in the race of three candidates originally vying for the seat.

(Read more about Hill, Lee and their respective policies here.)

In District 5, Hamilton County Democratic Party Vice Chairman Dennis Clark and Pastor Isiah Hester are in a race to replace Councilman Russell Gilbert, who was defeated in the general mayoral election.

Clark and Hester were the two top candidates in a race of five vying for the seat.

(Read more about Clark, Hester and their respective policies here.)

Each of the people elected will be eligible to serve a four-year term beginning with their swearing-in ceremony on April 19.

 

Where can I vote early?

Brainerd Recreation Center

1010 North Moore Road

Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

 

Election Commission

700 River Terminal Road

Monday -Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

 

Hixson Community Center

5401 School Drive

Monday - Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

 

What do I need to bring?

All voters must present a federal or Tennessee state ID with the voter's name and photograph. These IDs are acceptable:

- Tennessee driver's license with photo.

- United States passport.

- Photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

- Photo ID issued by the federal or Tennessee state government.

- United States military photo ID.

The Hamilton County Election Commission also encourages voters to follow these COVID-19 safety protocols when voting in person:

- Wear a face mask.

- Practice social distancing.

- Bring hand sanitizer.

- Bring a blue or black ink pen, although officials will also have single-use ink pens on hand.

 

When's Election Day?

Election Day is April 13. Polls will be open from 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at staylor@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.

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