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In news today…
Early voting continues in the Bradley County and Tennessee State primary election. Only 564 Bradley County residents voted on the first day of early voting, which is considered a low number by election officials. Early voting continues through April 28th, although there will be no early voting this Friday, April 15th, in observance of Good Friday. Early voting hours are Monday-Friday, 9AM-6PM and Saturday 9AM-4PM. You may vote early at the Bradley County Election Commission office downtown, at the Bradley Square Mall in the former Bath & Body Works location, or on the south side at 2657 APD 40 near Planet Fitness. You may vote at any one of the three early voting locations. If you do not vote early, you will need to vote at your assigned precinct on Election Day, which is Tuesday, May 3rd.
Also in news today…
The Bradley County Schools Board of Education will meet today at 5:30PM in the William R. Walker Board Room at the Bradley County Schools Administrative Office Building. During this meeting, Board Chairman Troy Weathers, who also represents District 4, and Board Member Rodney Dillard, who represents District 5, will be resigning as a result of the political controversy which began when State Senator Mike Bell filed a resolution to the Tennessee legislature claiming that both forfeited their seats as soon as they moved out of their districts.
Both the attorneys for TSBA and the school board advised that the language of Tenn. Code Ann. 49-2-202(a)(4) states “if any member ceases to reside in the county, the office of the member shall become vacant.” This statute does not provide that a Board member loses his seat from leaving the district that elected him.
Nevertheless, because both of these Board members value the work being done in Bradley County Schools, they have decided to resign their positions to allow the Board of Education to continue their good work ahead. Troy Weathers and Rodney Dillard were acting in good faith but chose to step down so students can remain at the center of the Board’s mission and not on political controversy.
In an opinion released Wednesday, the Tennessee Supreme Court vacated an injunction issued by a three-judge panel that prevented the enforcement of the reapportionment plan enacted by the Tennessee General Assembly for state senatorial districts.
Following the 2020 census, the General Assembly reapportioned the districts for the Senate as required by article II, section 4 of the Tennessee Constitution. In February 2022, the plaintiffs, who are three registered voters, filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief challenging the constitutionality of the reapportionment plan.
The plaintiffs argued that the reapportionment plan violates article II, section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution because it fails to consecutively number the four Senatorial districts included in Davidson County. A three-judge panel was appointed to hear the case.
Upon review, the majority of the Supreme Court concluded that the panel erred in granting the temporary injunction because it failed to adequately consider the harm the injunction will have on the election officials who are detrimentally impacted by the extension and also failed to adequately consider the public interest in ensuring orderly elections and avoiding voter confusion. Therefore, the Court vacated the injunction and remanded the case to the panel. The Court set a new filing deadline for Senatorial candidates of 4 p.m. prevailing time on Thursday.