Dec 5 2008
09:03 am

Subject to approval by municipal legislative bodies and election commissioners, the Knox County Election Commission will implement a Convenience Voting pilot program for the 2009 city elections. Convenience Voting will be used for the Farragut election on April 7th and the two City of Knoxville elections on September 22nd and November 3rd.

What is convenience voting? It's just like early voting, except it extends through election day. There would no longer be polling places in each precinct, although wards and precincts would still exist, voters would still be assigned to them, and their votes counted by precinct. Instead, there would be multiple voting centers where anyone from any precinct can vote, just like early voting.

Knox County Administrator of Elections Greg Mackay notes that the Election Commission must currently staff 92 polling places county wide for general elections and 52 for City elections. According to Greg, "It is a challenge to find this many election day officers who know about provisional voters, change of address laws, failsafe procedure, and all the rules and regulations needed to run an election. The voters and the public would be better served by having fewer, better trained and more knowledgeable workers at the Voting Centers."

Convenience Voting could also reduce the potential for fraud, making it more difficult for someone to attempt to vote in multiple precincts.

Sate law authorized the pilot program for Knox County earlier this year. Anderson and Loundon counties were also included in a study by the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy, which is helping develop the plan. There is funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Make Voting Work initiative.

More information is available at the Knox County Election Commission website:

Convenience Voting Law
Convenience Voting Plan
Baker Center Study

Previously at KnoxViews:

TN House approves convenience voting pilot
More on Knox Co. convenience voting
Indiana convenience voting centers
Knox County convenience voting pilot program

bill young's picture

I'm 100% for it

I am 100% behind this & believe City Council & the Election Commission should vote to approve it.

bizgrrl's picture

Interesting idea. In

Interesting idea.

In looking at the Baker Center Study, the only place I could find proposed locations, it appears there is no downtown voting site in the 15 location scenario. It looks like somewhere over near the Knoxville Town Center or somewhere around Bearden would be the closest.

For SoKno, the supported population variance for the West side of SoKno is quite large, scenario 1 = 23,000 somewhere around Vestal versus scenario 1 = 7,200 near the John Sevier Hwy/Alcoa Hwy intersection. It looks like there is only one center to the Seymour area:)

Ninety-five pages of report, then over 70 pages of appendices and references. Lots to peruse. The cost of voting tables are pretty interesting.

One thing I thought about when this was brought to my attention was "communities". So many people these days talk about building communities. This is just one more thing to take out of the community, IMO.

Greg Mackay's picture

downtown voting site

We would always vote at the Courthouse.

bizgrrl's picture

Can we then always have

Can we then always have voting at Mount Olive School in SoKno :)?

Greg Mackay's picture

Times have changed

Times have changed. We need to be out of the schools.

bizgrrl's picture

With changing times, should

With changing times, should Tennessee consider vote by mail with no excuse necessary for all voters, not just those people over 65?

Greg Mackay's picture

no excuse

Yes, I think we should have "no excuse" absentee voting.
If you want a ballot mailed to your home just request it.

While we're at it, we should have same day voter registration.

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