Thursday is election day in the county general and state and federal primary.

Assessor of property, school board and constable will be on the ballot, as will primaries for United States Senate and House of Representatives and State Senate and House of Representatives.

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In the Republican primary for state senate, incumbent senator Paul Rose of Covington is being opposed by Scott Throckmorton of Shelby County. Bill Hagerty and Dr. Manny Sethi are battling in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat that’s been held by Lamar Alexander since 2003. Tom Emerson Jr., from Brighton, is also on the ballot.

In the Democratic primary, James Mackler is the frontrunner.

View the sample ballot here.

Voting in a pandemic

Voting will look a little different, thanks to COVID-19.

A mask mandate is currently in place, but voters are not required to wear a mask inside their polling location. They are, however, encouraged.

Voters will be given a glove for their dominant hand upon entering the polling place. You will be asked to discard it when you leave and offered hand sanitizer before receiving your “I voted” sticker.

While waiting in line you will have to stay six feet apart from the person next to you.

All poll workers will be wearing masks, machines will be sanitized between voters and there will be a lot of Plexiglass to keep people safe.

It’s been a lot extra work for Tipton County Election Commission employees. “It’s been more challenging because we’ve had to acquire materials to sanitize,” said Cindy Pinner, administrator of elections, said last month. “You know that finding hand sanitizer and wipes can be difficult. Finding everything we need and finding a place to put all of it has been challenging … I have stuck stuff in every nook and cranny we have.”

And then there’s the whole absentee voting thing.

The state law changed amid the coronavirus pandemic allowing anyone with a fear of the virus to submit an absentee ballot. Previously you had to meet certain criteria, like being ill or elderly, to cast an absentee ballot.

Pinner said absentee ballots must be received via U.S. Mail by 7 p.m. Thursday to be counted.

She said there hasn’t been a substantial increase in the number of absentee ballots requested for this election.

How did early voting go?

Pinner said early voting brought in 4,854 voters, which includes both in-person and mail-in ballots as well as voting by residents of nursing homes.

During the August 2018 midterms, only 9,408 of the county’s 32,700 active voters made it to the polls. Most of those – 5,065 – were early and absentee votes and 4,343 were cast on election day.

In August 2016, only 5,694 people cast ballots, with 3,335 of those during the early voting period.

Where are the polling locations for Thursday?

On election day, voters must visit their assigned polling location in order to cast their ballot.

The polling locations are:

  • District 1 – Precinct 1 – NE Covington – Canaan Baptist Church, 211 North Main St., Covington
  • District 2 – Precinct 3 – SE Covington – National Guard Armory, 4500 Mueller Brass Rd., Covington
  • District 3 – Precinct 6 – Tipton West – Garland Community Center, 1598 Garland Dr., Covington
  • District 4 – Precinct 11 – Atoka – Gateway Baptist Church, Tanner Family Life Center, 1915 Rosemark Rd., Atoka
  • District 5 – Precinct 12 – Munford – Munford Baptist Church Family Life Center, 1253 Munford Ave., Munford
  • District 6 – Precinct 14 – Southwest Tipton – Poplar Grove United Methodist, 228 Quito Drummonds Rd.,  Drummonds
  • District 7 – Precinct 19 – Austin Peay – Greenleaf Community Church, 9703 Hwy. 59 S., Mason
  • District 8 – Precinct 21 – W. Wilkinsville, St. Mark’s M.B. Church, 3220 Wilkinsville Rd., Drummonds
  • District 9 – Precinct 22 – Brighton – Brighton Baptist Church, 132 East Woodlawn Ave., Brighton

How can I find out results?

On Thursday evening, once the polls have closed and the ballots counted, The Leader will be posted results through its Facebook page as well as final results here on our website.