Election Day: Why you should care

Many counties in East Tennessee will open their polls for local primaries Tuesday. But early numbers show the interest in this election is low despite dozens of local races on the line.

In Knox County, 5% of registered voters cast a ballot early.

Maryville College Political Science Professor Dr. Mark O'Gorman said many people will not vote simply because there are no national elections.

However, he said, voters actually feel the impact of issues decided at a local level everyday.

"Even though we think a lot more of the money is at the federal level, there's so much money is at the state and local. You can actually see your tax dollars at work," Dr. O'Gorman said.

"A lot of our most important issues. What are we going to do with our children in education? How are we going to keep our roads, our cities and towns the way we want them? Those are the choices are local elected officials are making and there's not more important issue than trying to figure out what's happening in your hometown."

Even though this is a primary, some races like the Knox County District 9 School Board race will be decided Tuesday.

Just as much as the candidates have been touting their platforms, Amber Rountree and incumbent Pam Trainor, have also been encouraging people to vote.

"It's really our children's future at stake and even if folks don't have children they need to be concerned about where are the tax dollars going," said Rountree.

"It's the litmus on where we're going because the schools are our future," said Trainor. "We see lines around blocks and blocks and blocks in the Middle East and for us to be able to just walk up and do it. We won't even have lines."

Five of the nine Knox County School Board seats are up for a vote. They control $432 million tax payer dollars.

Four of the eleven Knox County Commission seats are on the ballot. They control $730 million tax payer dollars.

"An active citizenship mans that people have to lean in and get involved in democracy. There are few acts more important than voting," said Dr. O'Gorman.


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