A total of 3,157 Bedford County citizens participated in early voting for Tuesday's primary elections during the early voting period which ended on Thursday.
"Four years ago, we had around 2,400 altogether, so that's a pretty considerable increase," said deputy administrator of elections Andrew Robertson this morning.
Polls will be open at all precinct locations Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.
There will be competitive races in the Democratic primary for county mayor, sheriff, circuit court clerk and trustee. Incumbent County Clerk Kathy Prater and Register of Deeds Johnny Reed are all but guaranteed re-election, being the only candidates who filed to run for their positions.
Because no candidates filed to run in the Republican primary for county-wide offices, the winners of the May Democratic primary will be unopposed on the August general election ballot. Only a handful of candidates have run in the Republican primary in decades.
One candidate, Rodney Guinn, chose to run in the Republican primary for a Fourth District county commission seat, the first time in recent memory that anyone has run in either party's primary for county commission. Local county commission, school board and road board candidates have generally run as independents regardless of their political leanings or affiliation so their names do not appear on the May primary ballot.
The August election will be a general election for county offices and a primary election for state and federal offices. The general election for state and federal offices will take place in November.
Voters will have to choose to vote either in the Democratic or the Republican primary for this particular election. Tennessee does not have voter registration by party, so choosing to vote in one party's primary does not prohibit a voter from voting in a different primary during a different election. Here are the candidates on the May 4 ballot, with (I) indicating an incumbent.
Eugene Ray (I)
Randall Boyce (I)
Circuit Court Clerk
Thomas A. Smith (I)
Kathy Prater (I)
Register of Deeds
Johnny Reed (I)