Authorities: No reports of violence or threats at Chattanooga area election polls

Authorities: No reports of violence or threats at Chattanooga area election polls

November 9th, 2016 by Shelly Bradbury in Politics Elections

Area residents wait in line to vote on Nov. 8, 2016, at the Hixson Fellowship Hall in Red Bank Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

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Despite a deeply contentious election, voters in the Tennessee Valley did their civic duty without violence or intimidation at the polls on Tuesday, authorities report.

Chattanooga police did not respond to any polling locations on Tuesday, and also did not receive calls about any election-related fights or disturbances, spokeswoman Elisa Myzal said.

That calm stretched throughout Hamilton County, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, as well as throughout the region. Election officials in Meigs, Rhea, Bledsoe, Sequatchie and Marion counties all said they received no reports of violence, threats or disturbances at the polls.

"Voters wanted to vote," said Lisa Wheeler, administrator at the Bledsoe County Election Commission. "The voters were really kind, and we didn't have long lines. It went really good."

In Georgia, Catoosa and Dade county election officials also reported no problems.

As news of Donald Trump's victory spread early Wednesday morning, some protests did break out in California, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington, according to the Associated Press.

Crowds in some areas swelled to into the hundreds, with some protesters shouting "Not my president," burning American flags and setting trash cans on fire.

The protests, however, did not turn violent.

Trump, Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama all called for a peaceful transition of power in speeches Wednesday.

In Chattanooga and Hamilton County, voters accepted the news of Trump's win in much the same way they voted at the polls — without large protests or violence. Trump won Tennessee easily and many locals said they were happy with the choice.

Chattanooga citizens took to social media after Trump's win became clear — to either complain or praise the choice — but the city did not see any widespread protests, and it appeared on Wednesday that no such protests were planned.

Kristi Berry, the poll worker coordinator at the Hamilton County Election Commission, said that overall, election day was busy but went smoothly.

"We didn't have any problems whatsoever," she said.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas. Follow @ShellyBradbury. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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