DECISION 2014: Voters in TN and GA head to polls
Channel 3 has visited area polling locations throughout the morning.
The Rossville Civic Center on McFarland Avenue had a steady line of North Georgians as it opened at 7 a.m. The lines for the electronic voting machines appeared to be moving fast and smooth.
The St. Mark's United Methodist Church in North Chattanooga had 100 ballots cast within the first two hours of being opened. Polling workers tell Channel 3 they expect turnout to pick up at lunch and after work.
For voters in Tennessee and Georgia, Election Day has arrived with a full ballot and decisions to be made.
When Republican state lawmakers concluded a lengthy process for putting a constitutional amendment seeking to allow greater abortion regulations in the state before the voters this year, they were widely expecting the measure not only to pass but to drive like-minded voters to the polls.
But public opinion has been more split on the measure, especially over the questions about whether state lawmakers should be given more control over abortion regulations, even in cases of rape, incest or health of the mother.
Other proposed amendments on the ballot Tuesday would give lawmakers more control over judicial appointments, ban a state income tax and allow veterans groups to hold charitable gaming events.
Tennessee voters in several dozen communities will decide whether supermarkets will be able to sell wine.
According to a coalition that's tracked the petitions, 78 municipalities have collected enough signatures to place a referendum for supermarket wine sales on the ballot.
Currently, wine can only be sold in liquor stores. But a state law that passed this year will allow it to be sold by grocery and convenience stores starting in July 2016 if citizens vote to approve the change.
Only communities that currently allow package stores or liquor by the drink are eligible to hold votes as long as at least 10 percent of voters in the community signed petitions. For instance, in metro Nashville, organizers had to get 15,000 signatures.
Tennessee election officials remind voters where they can turn if they have questions or concerns.
They say people can call the Division of Elections' toll free hotline, (877) 850-4959, or visit www.GoVoteTN.com to get information about Tuesday's elections.
There's also a new smartphone application produced by the division.
Highlights of the app include: Election Day polling locations and hours of operation, candidates' list, county election commission information and access to election results.
The app, called GoVoteTN, is available free of charge in the Apple Store and Google Play.
Georgia voters decide Tuesday whether to give Republican Gov. Nathan Deal four more years in office or make a change to Democrat Jason Carter after more than a year of contentious and often personal campaigning.
Georgia's demographics have shifted closer to Democrats' favor, but Republicans are confident their base and swing voters will turn out for the sitting governor who regularly touted the state's No. 1 rating by business publications and his administration's criminal justice work on the stump and in television ads. Democrats are counting on turning out voters who typically stay home in non-presidential years, particularly women and minorities.
If a candidate does not reach more than 50 percent of the vote, the two leading candidates advance to a Dec. 2 runoff.
After months of campaigning and a barrage of negative TV ads, Georgia's high-stakes battle for U.S. Senate will be decided in Tuesday's election - unless it's not.
Polls suggest a close race between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue with Georgia a key battleground in the fight for control of the Senate. Libertarian Amanda Swafford could play spoiler if no candidate captures more than 50 percent of the vote, triggering a Jan. 6 runoff.
Nunn, a nonprofit CEO and daughter of ex-Sen. Sam Nunn, emphasizes her ability to work across party lines.
Perdue, a former Dollar General CEO and cousin of ex-Gov. Sonny Perdue, argues Nunn will be a "rubber stamp" for President Barack Obama while he'll focus on creating jobs.
Polls are open in Georgia from 7:00am to 7:00pm.
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