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Tennessee Releases App in Time for the Start of Early Voting

The GoVoteTN app allows registered voters to enter their names and receive information tailored to their location on early and election-day polling locations, with maps, directions and hours of operation.

Advancing Wednesday’s launch of early voting for the Nov. 4 general election, supporters of wine in food stores began reminding voters to look for wine referendums near the bottom of the ballot, while state officials unveiled a smartphone application called GoVoteTN.

Early voting starts Wednesday across Tennessee and runs through Oct. 30.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett and state Election Coordinator Mark Goins unveiled the GoVoteTN app Tuesday. It allows registered voters to enter their names and receive information tailored to their location on early and election-day polling locations, with maps, directions and hours of operation.

They also can get the complete ballot for their voting precinct so they can mark and store their ballots on their phones to take into the polling place, as well as lists of local elected officials. Other information that will be available to voters on the app includes how to contact their election commission; the federal, state and local districts the voter lives in; and, after the election, access to election results as they flow in to the secretary of state.

“We think it’s a great resource for people going to vote in early voting and election day by being more prepared,” Hargett said. When users mark their ballots on their phones, the information exists only on the device and is not transmitted to or stored by the state, he said.

Meanwhile, new television ads in support of wine in food stores began airing Monday in Memphis and five other Tennessee cities.

Wine referendums are on the ballot in the 78 Tennessee towns, cities and counties where supporters gathered enough qualifying signatures on petitions. In Greater Memphis, the referendums are on ballots in Memphis, Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland, Millington, Atoka, Covington and Oakland.

Elsewhere in West Tennessee, Dyersburg, Jackson, McKenzie, Paris, Savannah and Union City will also vote on wine in food stores.

Two different TV spots are running in rotation, both with scenes of shoppers in grocery stores asking “Where’s the wine?”

Red White and Food, the coalition of food stores running the campaign, reported last week it has raised $900,000 for its campaign through election day. The organization is not disclosing yet how much it is spending in each city, but FCC reports on political ad spending filed by the four main Memphis commercial TV stations listed Red White and Food contracts totaling $117,000. That excludes spending on cable programming.

“The ads create awareness that the question of whether to allow wine in retail food stores is now with the voters,” said Susie Alcorn, Red White and Food campaign manager.

The referendums resulted from legislation approved by the Tennessee General Assembly in March that allows citizens to sign petitions calling for referendums on wine sales in food stores in any town or city that has either retail liquor stores or liquor by the drink in restaurants.

In communities where the wine referendums are approved, food stores can start selling wine on July 1, 2016.

The GoVoteTN app is available in the Apple Store and in Google Play. More information about it is available at the state’s election website, www.GoVoteTN.com

©2014 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)


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