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Early voting starts this week, and liquor by the drink for county residents will be on the ballot along with the elections for president and city officials.

Early voting runs from this Wednesday through Thursday, Oct. 29, said Alan Farley, Rutherford County election administrator. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, Oct. 27, Farley said. The Election Commission must receive all mailed ballots by the close of polls on Election Day to count.

Farley said he expects a significant increase in the use of absentee ballots, but expects 85 to 90 percent of voters will vote in person.

Federal and state races are on the ballot. Voters in Smyrna, La Vergne and Eagleville will have an opportunity to select officials for their municipalities.

Also, residents of the unincorporated county areas will vote on liquor by the drink.

Craig Harris sponsored the bill in the County Commission to place the liquor initiative on the ballot.

“Why leave it up to 21 people (the commission) when the people can give their vote and decide for themselves,” Harris said.

If approved, liquor tax revenue could help offset the loss of the county’s portion of the Hall income tax, which expires after December, he said.

Each of the cities in Rutherford allow liquor by the drink.

Liquor by the drink was on the county ballot five years ago but failed, said Rutherford County public information officer Ashley McDonald. All of the tax revenue would go to the county; half of that would go to schools, she said.

Harris said that liquor by the drink could attract restaurants to portions of the unincorporated county.

These are the candidates:

Eagleville Council: Ryan Edwards and Chris Hendrix. There are three openings but only two candidates.

La Vergne alderman (vote for two): Calvin B. Jones; Steve Noe; John R. Skinner; Kathy Tyson; and Dennis R. Waldron.

La Vergne (unexpired term, vote for one): Graeme Coates

Smyrna Council (vote for three): Tim Morrell; Racquel Peebles; and Steve Sullivan.

U.S. Senate: Bill Hagerty (R); Marquita Bradshaw (D); Yomi “Fapas” Faparusi Sr. (I); Jeffrey Alan Grunau (I); Ronnie Henley (I); G. Dean Hill (I); Steven J. Hooper (I); Aaron James (I); Elizabeth McLeod (I); Kacey Morgan (I); Eric William Stansberry (I).

U.S. House, 4th District: Scott DesJarlais (R); Christopher J. Hale (D).

Tennessee House, 34th District: Tim Rudd (R); Mary R. Vaughn (D).

Tennessee Senate, 14th District: Shane Reeves (R); Chase Clemons (D).

Tennessee House, 37th District: Charlie Baum (R); Mariah N. Phillips (D).

Tennessee House, 48th District: Bryan Terry (R); Matt Ferry (D).

Tennessee House, 49th District: Mike Sparks (R); Brandon Thomas (D).

The voting locations are: Rutherford County Election Office, 1 South Public Square; Sports*Com, 2310 Memorial Blvd..; Rutherford County Election Commission Annex, 426 E. Vine St.; Lane Agri-Park Livestock Pavilion, 315 John R. Rice Blvd.; Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors, 311 Butler Dr.; Smyrna City Hall, 315 S Lowry St.; Smyrna First Free Methodist Church, 1004 Hazelwood Drive; LaVergne Multi-Purpose Building, 5093 Murfreesboro Road; and World Outreach Church Leadership Park building on corner of Barfield Road and New Salem Highway.

Voting hours at the Election Commission Office are: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon. Hours at all other locations are: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; Saturday at all locations will be 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Tennessee voters who request an absentee by-mail ballot for the Nov. 3 election can track the status of their ballot on the Secretary of State’s website using the Absentee By-Mail Ballot Status Tracker tool. Tracking starts when the county election commission mails the ballot to the voter and ending when the completed ballot has been received by the county election commission. Visit the Absentee By-Mail Ballot Status Tracker at tnmap.tn.gov/voterlookup.

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