March 2, 2017 (Memphis, Tenn.) Today, Gov. Bill Haslam issued a writ ordering the special election to decide who will replace Mark Lovell in the Tennessee state legislature. The writ also sets the date for both the primary and the general elections, according to Linda Phillips, administrator of elections for the Shelby County Election Commission (SCEC), who received the writ this morning.
The primary election will be held on Thursday, April 27, and the general election will be held Thursday, June 15.
Lovell, who represented the 95th district, which includes part of Germantown and Collierville, resigned on Feb. 14, leaving his seat vacant. Tennessee law mandates that if a member of the legislature leaves office with 12 or more months left in the term, a special election must be held so voters can decide the replacement.
The 95th district includes 14 precincts and a portion of four additional precincts, encompassing about 51,000 voters.
Both elections require a 15-day early voting period. “There will probably be one early voting location in Germantown and one in Collierville, but ultimately that decision is up to the commissioners,” Phillips said.
The five-members of the SCEC Commission will decide the early voting and election day locations at the March 21 meeting, to be held at 4 p.m. at the Operations Center at 980 Nixon Dr. The commissioners will also set the early voting and election day locations for the general election. Phillips said the locations for the general election might not be decided until the regular meeting of the commission in April, and is somewhat dependent on the outcome of the primary election.
Phillips estimates that there will be 15 or 16 polling locations open on Election Day in both the primary and general elections.
People who want to run for the seat, may pick up a Candidate Nominating Petition at either office of the Shelby County Election Commission. When submitted, the petitions must be accompanied by the signatures of 25 voters who are registered to vote in the 95th district.
The qualifying deadline to submit the petitions is Thursday, March 16, at noon. The withdrawal deadline is Monday, March 20 at noon.