With the county into its fourth day of early voting for the Aug. 7 election, it’s become apparent to local election official Darrin Thompson that a large percentage of voters so far are very confused by the ballot. Thompson, Henry County’s administrator of elections, said Monday there seems to be general bewilderment about this particular election. Many voters apparently aren’t grasping the fact that there are really two elections in one — a general election in the county and primaries to decide state and federal offices. “The state primaries seem to be throwing them quite a bit,” Thompson said. “A lot of them don’t seem to be aware that it’s two elections happening at the same time — and that it’s only in the primaries that they have to choose a particular party in which to vote.” … It appears some of the confusion is stemming from the judicial races that are on the ballot. Thompson reminded voters Monday that those judicial races — for Circuit Court judgeships, chancellor, and district attorney general, among others — are part of the general election.
That’s because those candidates were chosen by their parties as nominees through the caucus process earlier this year, so there was never any primary, and now it’s down to Democrats vs. Republicans.
Where some of the confusion may be coming in is with voters who might want to vote for a particular candidate in one party in the state races — for example, they might want to vote for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in the GOP primary.
They must ask for a Republican ballot in order to vote for Alexander, but it appears they’re reluctant to do so because they might want to vote for a Democratic candidate in another race — for example, incumbent D.A. Hansel McCadams — and they think they can’t do that if they declare themselves as wanting a Republican ballot. The fact is, in this particular case, they could still vote for McCadams because his race is part of the county general election.