Hargett expects 'heated' 2020 Dem presidential primary in Tennessee

Hank Hayes • Nov 20, 2019 at 9:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said Wednesday he expects a “heated” Democratic presidential primary next year.

“You see a lot of interest there,” Hargett, a Republican whose office oversees elections, said of the crowed field of Democrats seeking the nomination. “We’re gearing up for that, making sure people are aware of our online voter registration and get people registered to vote and participate in the elections.”

On March 3, primary elections will be held for president for the Republican and Democratic parties, and the Republican Party will elect delegates to its national convention.

On Aug. 6, primary elections will be held for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Tennessee Senate (even-numbered districts), and Tennessee House of Representatives. General elections will be held for applicable county offices and state judicial offices where a vacancy has occurred.

The state, federal and presidential elections will be held on Nov. 3.

The GoVoteTN app on the secretary of state’s website allows Tennesseans the opportunity to view their sample ballot, locate their polling location and learn about their district.

Also on the website is the Tennessee Online Voter Registration System that offers a convenient way for voters to easily register or change their address if they have moved. The system allows U.S. citizens with a driver’s license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security to register to vote online.

“You will see us with a pretty big emphasis on a digital strategy, advertising on social media and media webpages,” Hargett noted. “Just last month, we hit the half-million threshold (for online registrations). That’s a combination of people who went online to change their voting registration address as well as register to vote. There’s a lot of conversation about cyber security and interference in elections. There are a lot of people who want to to spread disinformation. I want to encourage people to rely on their election commission as well as the state of Tennessee. Don’t just rely on what you see on Facebook and Twitter.”

Hargett was at the Sullivan County Public Library’s main branch for a ceremonial check presentation for an $8,000 tech grant to be used to purchase new staff computers and laptop computers to refresh the library’s mobile training lab.