I voted yesterday. There were no lines, no waiting. All told I think it took about 5 minutes, 4 of which was getting the card to put in the voting machine.
According to the Election Commission 2095 people voted yesterday at one of the 16 Early voting locations. That represents about .6% of the total electorate in Memphis, which the Election Commission lists as 367,130 voters. I’m not sure how that compares to past elections, but if this trend holds, that would mean about 8.6% of all voters will have participated in the election by the end of early voting on October 1st.
Over the past few weeks I’ve seen blog posts and articles about how this campaign season in Memphis has been lackluster, how there aren’t any real choices, etc., etc., etc. I understand the frustration. But the truth of the matter is that if you don’t vote you have chosen to further stifle any chance of additional choices or more direct representation in this City. There are some real choices out there, if you’re willing to look for them.
First, the Super Districts. There are two contested elections in each.
District 9.1 features a rematch of the 2008 Special Election featuring incumbent Kemp Conrad and
Paul Shaffer. There couldn’t be more contrast between these two, particularly on the issue of labor. Paul is the Business Manager for IBEW local 474, Conrad proposed to privatize the Dept. of Sanitation during the budget talks earlier this year. If you live in Dist. 9, there is a real difference between these two candidates, one that should inform your decision at the ballot box.
District 9.2 has two candidates in the running: incumbent Shea Flinn and James Sdoia. I’ve seen some signs from both candidates around town, but I haven’t seen much else.
District 9.3 is unopposed.
In District 8.1 there is an contest between incumbent Joe Brown, Mark Coleman, and Tammy Warren. None of them have a website that I could locate. I don’t live in District 8, but when I voted yesterday I didn’t see any poll workers out for the challengers, nor have I seen any signs.
District 8.2 is between incumbent Janis Fullilove, Mario Dennis, Rosalyn Nichols, and Isaac Wright. I haven’t seen many signs of life from the Dennis and Wright camps, but Rosalyn Nichols has been out there working it. There’s the potential for a real challenge in this race. I don’t know how much of a potential, but it exists.
District 8.3 is unopposed.
Voters in Super Dist. 8 made up 63.7% of all the voters yesterday, however, that may be more of a reflection of some of the single member district contests. I’ll take a look at Districts 6 and 7 Sunday morning.
In the mean time, go vote. All 16 locations are open until 4pm today, Saturday, September 17th. Polls are open Monday – Friday, 10am to 7pm and on Saturday 10am to 4pm on Saturdays through October 1st. Here are the locations.
Annointed Temple of Praise
Bellevue Baptist Church
Berclair Church of Christ
Bishop Byrne High School
Dave Wells Community Center
Glenview Community Center
Greater Lewis Street Baptist Church
Greater Middle Baptist Church
Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church
Mt. Zion Baptist Church
Raleigh United Methodist Church
Riverside Baptist Church
Shelby County Office Bldg. (157 Poplar)
Shiloh Baptist Church
White Station Church of Christ