Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

January 6, 2012

County to use paper absentee ballots in 2012

CROSSVILLE — The Cumberland County Election Commission voted to use paper ballots for absentee voting in the upcoming 2012 elections. In 2010 the county used a scanning ballot that required the voter to fill in a bubble similar to taking a test. With the paper ballot the voter places a check mark next to the candidate's name.

"We can do them on a paper ballot or scanner, but we ought to do what's easiest for the voter," said Election Commission Chairperson Linda Baehr-Caldwell.

"I like the paper ballot. It looks a lot easier and most of the people voting absentee are seniors. It looks a lot easier for them to me," said Republican representative Tim Claflin. "The only thing is as long as there are instructions to go with it in the envelope."

"Oh, yeah, there definitely would be," Baehr-Caldwell said.

Both Democratic representatives Lisa Phillips and Bob Austin said they liked the paper ballots as well.

Baehr-Caldwell added that she has served on the counting board in the past and that it was also much easier for counting the votes.

Claflin made a motion to use the paper absentee ballots and Austin supported the motion. It was unanimously approved.

Early voting and regular voting will still be done on machines as it has in the past.

The election commission also approved and sealed the Republican and Democrat ballot boxes for absentee ballots.

The commission also reviewed voter registration applicants and received a tentative schedule for the March 6, 2012 presidential primary and county property assessor primary election.

A list of potential poll workers was also passed out to the election commissioners.

The election commission will meet in a special-called meeting next Monday, Jan. 10, at 4 p.m. in the election commission office in order to approve the appointment of poll workers and to lock and seal the ballot boxes for the March 6 presidential primary election.

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