Early voting begins in Davidson County; 6 amendments also on the ballot

Early voting began Wednesday in Davidson County.  In addition to candidates, 6 amendments to the Metro charter are also on the ballot including the formation of a citizen oversight board and extending term limits for council members.

Early voting has begun in Davidson County. In addition to the high profile governor and senate races, Nashville citizens have the following six amendments on which to vote on:

Amendment 1

This amendment would establish The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Community Oversight Board (‘Board’) consisting of 11 members, to be operational no later than January 31, 2019. The Board would have the independent power to investigate allegations of misconduct against Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (‘MNPD’) officers. The Board would have the power to issue reports assessing allegations of misconduct by MNPD officers and make policy recommendations to public safety and justice administration agencies. The Board can recommend that discipline be given within the parameters of civil service rules when it finds a basis to believe that an officer has committed misconduct. The Board has the option of forwarding findings of criminal misconduct and civil rights violations to the District Attorney, the Grand Jury, or the United States Attorney. The Board must submit to the mayor an annual budget request of no less than $1,500,000.00, and the Metropolitan Council must determine if this amount is sufficient for the operation of the Board and staff. No later than March 29, 2019, and through a special appropriation, the Board must be fully operational and staffed by sufficient personnel in order to carry out its duties.

Amendment 2

This amendment would revise the line of succession for the office of mayor by calling for a council election of a temporary mayor in the absence of the vice mayor and further prohibit that temporary mayor from seeking election in the next election for mayor or vice mayor.

Amendment 3

This amendment would require a special election for mayor when more than 12 months remain in the unexpired term, for vice mayor when more than 24 months remain in the unexpired term, and for district council member when more than eight months remain in the unexpired term and clarify that no special election for councilmember-at-large be held.

Amendment 4

This amendment would require the oaths of office for mayor, vice mayor, and members of council to include an oath to uphold the Charter of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville.

Amendment 5

This amendment would revise current term limits for the office of district councilman and councilman at large. The current term limitation of two terms would be expanded to three terms for these offices. Gender-neutral terms would also be applied (‘councilmember’ in lieu of ‘councilman’).

Amendment 6

This amendment would update the Metropolitan Charter with gender-neutral references in place of masculine-only pronouns. References to ‘he’ would be changed to ‘he or she’; ‘his’ would be changed to ‘his or her’; ‘him’ would be changed to ‘him or her’; ‘councilman’ and ‘councilmen’ would be changed to ‘councilmember’ and ‘councilmembers’ respectively; and ‘policemen’ would be changed to ‘police officers.’

Early voting runs Mondays through Saturdays and ends Thursday, Nov. 1. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. The voter registration deadline ahead of this election was Tuesday, Oct. 9.

According to officials, in Davidson County there have been a record number of new voters who have registered, overwhelming the voting commission.

“If you registered recently, don’t be discouraged if your name isn’t on the list at the polling place,” said one official. “We recommend voting early so you can work out any issues.”

Also, go vote early so you can work out any issues.

Secretary of State, Tre Hargett agrees.

“Tennesseans broke August early voting records as they selected nominees and elected county officials, and I know interest remains high as voters prepare to select leaders across all levels of government on the November ballot,” he said. “Early voting offers voters more opportunities to find a convenient time to cast their ballots.”

Voters can download the GoVoteTN app, available in the App Store or Google Play, to view voter-specific information. Voters can find early voting and Election Day polling locations, view and mark sample ballots and much more. The platform is also available at <GoVoteTN.com>.

“Voters can check information before they head to the polls by using our app,” Secretary Hargett said.

All voting locations are open 8 am to 5:30 pm Monday and Friday, 8 am to 7 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8 am to 4:30 pm on Saturday.

State law requires polling locations and the area within a 100-foot boundary surrounding each entrance remain campaign-free zones. Tennessee law prohibits the display or distribution of campaign materials and the solicitation of votes for or against any person, party or question on the ballot in these areas.
Tennesseans voting early or on Election Day should remember to bring valid photo identification with them to the polls. A driver’s license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security as well as photo IDs issued by Tennessee state government or the federal government are acceptable even if they are expired. College student IDs are not acceptable.