Early Voting Ends Tomorrow, Election Day November 6

In-person early voting ends tomorrow, November 1, in Tennessee.  To date, the overall early voting turnout amounts to over 1.2 million Tennesseans.  This figure represents the second-highest early voting turnout in Tennessee history, having surpassed November 2004, the last election involving an incumbent president, reports Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

Voters with questions regarding the locations and hours of early voting are encouraged to contact their local election commission offices.

Election day is November 6.  Check back with UT Advocacy for information regarding election results on November 7.

Gov. Haslam Meets with UT Martin Leadership, Discusses Unique Role of Campus in Region, State

Today, Governor Haslam met with UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes and members of his staff to discuss the unique role UT Martin serves within the West Tennessee region and state. Haslam’s visit is part of an ongoing dialogue held across the state concerning higher education and workforce development.

Chancellor Rakes noted that UT Martin has the second highest graduation rates in the state among all public colleges and universities. He further noted that 52% of all UT Martin’s entering freshmen are Pell Grant recipients. The Governor was noticeably impressed with the campus’ achievements in this area and asked staff to expand on various measures undertaken to achieve this outcome. A lengthy discussion ensued on how to increase the participation and success rates in STEM majors.

Although no specific policy proposals were discussed, the Governor noted that he is continuing to gather information on the successes and needs of public higher education institutions and their ability to foster a more competitive workforce for the state.

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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam with UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes

Early Voting Begins October 17

Early voting begins on Wednesday, October 17 in Tennessee and will continue until Thursday, November 1.  Utilized by many for its convenience, early voting allows voters to select any early voting location operated by their local election commission office (you are not bound to the precinct listed on your voter registration card).

As of January 1, 2012, casting your ballot now requires the use of photo identification.  Please see the information below on which forms of identification are accepted at the polls.

From the Tennessee Department of State:

What IDs are acceptable?

Any of the following IDs may be used, even if expired:

  • Tennessee drivers license with your photo
  • United States Passport
  • Photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
  • Photo ID issued by the federal or any state government
  • United States Military photo ID
  • State-issued handgun carry permit with your photo
What IDs are not acceptable?

College student IDs and photo IDs not issued by the federal or a state government are NOT acceptable.

Who is exempt?
  • Voters who vote absentee by mail (view requirements here)
  • Voters who are residents of a licensed nursing home or assisted living center and who vote at the facility
  • Voters who are hospitalized
  • Voters with a religious objection to being photographed
  • Voters who are indigent and unable to obtain a photo ID without paying a fee
What if I registered by mail and am voting in my first election?

Federal law requires first time voters who register by mail to present one of the following:

  • A current photo identification with voter’s name and photo OR
  • If the photo identification is expired, the voter must also present one of the following: a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the voter’s name and address.

Do you care about higher education issues facing the state?  Learn what state legislative candidates had to say about the issues before heading to the polls. Be an informed voter and view our candidate survey before you cast your ballot.

Gov. Haslam Appoints Two New Members to Higher Education Boards

Freeman to Tennessee Board of Regents, Jubran to University of Tennessee Board of Trustees

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointments of two new members to boards overseeing Tennessee’s public colleges and universities.

Darrell Freeman of Brentwood will represent the 7th Congressional District on the Tennessee Board of Regents. Raja Jubran of Knoxville will represent the 2nd Congressional District on the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.

Darrell S. Freeman is founder and executive chairman of Zycron, a Tennessee-based information technology consulting firm, serving clients including large health care, government and utility agencies.  He serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Small Business and Labor Advisory Council and Centennial Medical Center Board, and formerly served two terms as chairman of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Freeman, a Memphis native, lives in Brentwood with his wife, Gloria. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Middle Tennessee State University.

Raja J. Jubran is founder and chief executive officer of Denark Construction, Inc., a Knoxville based general contracting and engineering company. He serves on the Clayton Bancorp Board of Directors and Clayton Bank & Trust Board of Directors, and is chairman of the Board Loan Committee and a member of the Board Executive Committee and the Trust Committee. He is also a member of the Clayton Foundation Board of Directors, Innovation Valley Inc. Board of Directors, the Knoxville Public Safety Foundation Board of Directors, and the Leadership Knoxville Board of Directors.  He previously served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership, Leadership Knoxville, and of Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC). Jubran and his wife, Michele, live in Knoxville. He holds a degree in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

In July, Haslam announced his focus on post-secondary education in Tennessee, particularly in the areas of affordability, quality and workforce development.

“If we are going to be a state that attracts companies to locate and grow here, a state that keeps its best and brightest graduates here with good-paying, high-quality jobs, there is nothing more important we can do than to focus on education,” Haslam said. “We are asking higher education to do more with less and we believe with the right team it is possible to be innovative, creative and proactive in our commitment to increase the number of Tennesseans with a college degree.”

The governor serves as chairman of the board for the TBR and UT systems.

Survey Results

UT Advocacy administered a survey this past August to every candidate running for a Tennessee General Assembly seat in this year’s General Election. The survey covers issues pertaining to higher education in Tennessee, regarding the areas of State support for higher education, campus and workplace safety, and Lottery Scholarships. Click here to read the full text of the survey.

Below are the results for legislators and candidates seeking election or reelection in the Tennessee State Senate and House of Representatives.

If you are unsure of which Senate or House District you are registered to vote in, you can look up your voter registration information via the Tennessee Department of State website.

Please note: State Senators in Tennessee serve staggered four-year terms, so only half of the Senate is up for election this year. We provided an opportunity for candidates to issue a statement or comment for each of the six questions, and all responses are quoted verbatim, unedited from the completed surveys received in our office.

Tennessee Senate

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Tennessee House of Representatives

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