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Unofficial election results show clear nod to alcohol

By a vote of nearly two-to-one, New Tazewell residents gave the nod to city package stores selling alcoholic beverages. The unofficial results show that a total 923 city residents cast votes in this particular line item during the November 2020 election. Of those, 613 voters – or 66.41 percent of the total vote – were in favor of the referendum.

It seems many county residents chose to vote early either in person or by mail-in ballot. The referendum proved no different as 644 early votes were cast to decide the alcohol question compared to 279 votes during Election Day.

Other countywide races were not quite so exciting this election year, due to a lack of competition. Every seat was basically “a done deal” going into the election in that the candidates ran unopposed. It seems nobody wanted to go up against the incumbents and the apparent quality of work they have brought to their respective seats.

Of note, the Harrogate east ward alderman race drew no contenders. The seat will apparently be filled by Kenneth West, who garnered a total of 25 write-in votes. Gary Burchett decided not to run for reelection and no one filed to run for that seat.

As Tennessee remains solidly red on the national map landslide numbers inside the county show a solid majority of residents in favor of the Donald Trump/Michael Pence ticket. Trump/Pence garnered an unofficial total 81.92 percent of county votes compared to the 17.01 percent cast for the Jo Biden/Kamala Harris camp.

Seven Independents also ran for the presidency, grabbing a total of 136 votes among them.

Of note is the Kanye West/Michelle Tidball ticket which snagged a total 22 or .17 percent of the county votes. The biggest contender among the Independents was the Jo Jorgensen/Jeremy “Spike” Cohen ticket, which pulled down 82 county votes.

Turning to the U.S. Senate race, Bill Hagerty managed an apparent county landslide with 82.26 percent of the vote. His closest competitor, Marquita Bradshaw, ended the race with 15.95 percent.

U.S. representative Tim Burchett fared well, pulling down 83.04 percent of the county vote. His nearest competitor, Renee Hoyos, garnered 15.54 percent.

Statewide, senator Frank Nicely and representative Jerry Sexton ran unopposed.

Tennessee saw a record-breaking 3,045,401 – over 68 percent of active and inactive registered voters – cast ballots in-person or by absentee mail-in during the election.

Voter turnout and participation handily beat the previous record set during the 2008 presidential election, when 2,618,238 cast their ballots.

“For months, our office has worked with election commissions and health officials across the state to ensure that in-person voting was clean, safe and secure,” said secretary of state Tre Hargett. “Traditionally, Tennesseans prefer to vote in-person. We’ve said it for months, and yet again, voters showed their confidence in the safety precautions in place and their preference to cast a ballot in-person by showing up in record numbers at the polls.”

Mark Goins, coordinator of elections, says the state experienced a record number of voter turnout during this pandemic due to the months and countless hours of planning. He credited the 95 election commissions, administrators and staff for the “smooth voting experience.”

“Thanks to the roughly 17,000 poll officials who stepped up to serve their communities and carry out all the planning to provide Tennesseans with a safe and secure in-person voting experience,” said Goins.

Claiborne County has until Nov. 23 to submit its certified election results to the Division of Elections. Until then, all results are unofficial.