Political Notebook: No 'ballot selfies' at polls

Political Notebook: No 'ballot selfies' at polls

July 3rd, 2016 by Staff Reports in Politics Local

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

No 'ballot selfies' at polls

Early voting begins Tuesday in Georgia's general primary and nonpartisan runoff elections. Georgia voters may cast ballots in person or by mail through July 22, according to Secretary of State Brian Kemp's office.

In a news release, Kemp said voters can use the "My Voter Page" or download a free smartphone app to check registration status, view a sample ballot, find their voting location, or request an absentee ballot.

Polls will be open during normal business hours for early voting, and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, July 26.

Kemp also reminded voters they can't take pictures in the polling place. Voters have posted "ballot selfies" on social media in violation of statutory law, he said.

"If you are going to post about your voting experience on social media, I encourage you to post your peach voting sticker, not your ballot," said Kemp. "Georgia law intends to preserve secrecy of the ballot for all voters."

Senators tout CON reform

A bill sponsored by state Sens. Todd Gardenhire and Bo Watson, Chattanooga Republicans, to reform the certificate of need process for medical facilities took effect Friday.

"This legislation makes several reforms that will reduce the cost of healthcare and provide greater access to our citizens," Gardenhire said in a news release. Watson added that modernizing the CON process "will help in our efforts to curtail the rising cost of healthcare, as well as expand access to care."

The certificate of need program aimed to avoid duplication or oversupply of services. The new law eliminates the requirement for a CON for birthing centers, lithotripsy, rehabilitation services and hospital-based alcohol and drug treatment for adolescents; for discontinuation of obstetrician services and critical access hospital closures; and for certain capital expenditures for modifying or renovating buildings and equipment.

The bill also extends the statute of limitations for aggravated statutory rape to 15 years after the victim turns 18 years of age.

Dems hit Gardenhire choice

The Tennessee Democratic Party in a news release criticized Sen. Todd Gardenhire's appointment to the Tennessee Higher Education Task Force in light of his support of school vouchers.

Party spokesman Spencer Bowers called the appointment "a disaster for our students."

"Sen. Gardenhire has made it clear that his goal is to dismantle public education in Tennessee, whether through voucher programs for grade schools or cutting tuition assistance for colleges and universities," Bowers said in the release.

"And any grade school teacher would give him an F for classroom behavior for the way he has lashed out at constituents, including calling one an a**hole simply for supporting Governor Haslam's Insure Tennessee plan. With UTC and other public schools at risk, Chattanooga can't afford to keep sending Sen. Gardenhire back to Nashville."

Realtors endorse Haynes

The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors has endorsed Republican Marty Haynes in the Hamilton County Assessor of Property race, according to a news release.

Haynes faces Democrat Mark Siedlecki in the Aug. 4 election. Incumbent Republican Bill Bennett is not seeking re-election.

The statement said Haynes "clearly stands out as the most qualified candidate" and that he "has the best vision for moving the Assessor's Office forward and fully recognizes the importance real estate and homeownership play in the overall economic growth and prosperity in Hamilton County."

Early voting in the race is July 15-40.

Young Democrats plan debate

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Two Democrats seeking the nomination for the 10th Senate District seat will take part in a town hall debate July 16 at Catch Bar & Grill, 233 E. Inman St. in Cleveland.

Ty O'Grady and Khristy Wilkinson will answer questions regarding domestic policy, equality, education funding and other statewide issues, according to a news release. The event begins at 5 p.m. and the debate starts at 6.

Three Democrats, three Republicans (including incumbent Sen. Todd Gardenhire of Chattanooga) and three independents are in the running for the 10th District seat.

Tweet questions using the hashtag #Senate10Debate or message the Bradley County Young Democrats or Hamilton County Young Democrats on their Facebook page.

Seating is limited, RSVP to Blake Kitterman, president of the BCYD, at Blake@ BlakeKitterman.com.

Dems to meet Marion voters

JASPER, Tenn. — Marion County Democratic voters can meet their candidates at the county party's meeting July 9 at the Marion County Commission building, 5520 Highway 41 in Jasper.

Party members also will get an update on the yard sale to benefit the political action committee and on ticket sales for the MCDP Dinner on July 21.

Refreshments will be served starting at 9:30 a.m. CDT, and the meeting will start at 10. For information, contact jim.lewis.217@gmail.com or call 423-903-9724.