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Those who wish to cast a vote for General Sessions Judge must vote in the Republican primary for their vote to count.

That clarification comes as voting for the March 3 Democratic and Republican primaries winds down. Early balloting will continue through this Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the C.D. Stamps Center on South Jackson in Tullahoma and the Coffee County Administrative Plaza off McArthur Street in Manchester. Those who do not exercise their early voting may vote at their home precinct on March 3.

The confusion about the judge’s race, set to fill the vacancy left by Judge Tim Brock who passed away this past November, comes after some voters questioned why they had to vote in the Republican primary to have a say in who is elected judge. Director of Elections Andy Farrar pointed out that all four candidates seeking the office are running as Republicans. The candidates are Jason Huskey, Stacy Lynch, Jess Stockwell and Greg Perry. Since they are all qualified as Republicans, the winner of the primary will be uncontested during the general election in August. Therefore, the county commission has voted to install whoever wins the primary as judge pending their official swearing in which will take place on Sept. 1.

Given the lack of Democratic or Independent candidates, if voters want their vote for judge to count, they will have no option but to vote in the Republican Primary. Voters must choose which primary they wish to vote in when they appear to cast the ballot. Voters cannot vote in both the Democrat and Republican Primary during the same election, meaning voters cannot have a say in who will be elected judge and also vote for their favorite Democratic candidate for President of the United States.

Farrar also clarified that there were no write-in candidates qualified for the judge’s office. Any write-in ballots will not be counted.

Duane Sherrill may be reached at dsherrill@tullahomanews.com.

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