Election 2012

The presidential contest is expected to drive voter turnout across the nation and the state. Almost 1.5 million Tennesseans cast ballots early. That’s the second-highest early voting turnout in state history, just shy of 2008 totals.

Early voting is underway and residents in Memphis and the unincorporated county are voting on a half-cent sales tax increase.

Outside the early voting location at the Agricenter, Nancy Ream said she and her husband voted for the sales tax increase, “my understanding is that it is supposed to go for Pre-K money and this is a community that really does need money for Pre-K, for kids under five. We need to get those kids in school as fast as possible.”

Today is the first day of early voting. In addition to the Presidential election, there are two important local issues on ballots in Shelby County: municipal school board elections in the suburbs; and a countywide half-cent sales tax increase in Memphis and the unincorporated areas of the county.

Eric Barnes, publisher of the Memphis Daily News, moderates a discussion about the real impact of the August 2, 2012, municipal elections on the proposed Unified School District with panelists Billy Orgell, Chairman of the Unified School Board; Bill Dries, reporter for the Memphis Daily News; and Jackson Baker, from the Memphis Flyer.

Suburbanites who want municipal school districts celebrated last night.

The results of yesterday’s election are in. Residents in all six of the suburbs outside of Memphis voted to create separate school systems rather than join a merged Memphis and Shelby County School district in 2013.

Residents in Millington voted to form a municipal school district, but did not pass the ½ sales tax increase to pay for it.

It’s Election Day in Tennessee. There are 92 candidates running and 46 different decisions facing voters in Shelby County alone. On the ballot are state and national primaries and local races and referendums. 

Among the contests Senior Reporter for the Memphis Daily News Bill Dries said everyone will be watching are ballot questions about forming municipal school districts in the suburbs outside of Memphis.

"[R]ecent issues are just the latest in a series of errors in the Shelby County Election Commission stretching back at least a decade. Nearly every election cycle in the county in recent memory has been plagued by a myriad of errors and complaints of wrongdoing.”

The ballot question in Bartlett asks voters whether they want to form a separate school district and whether they are willing to pay for it. 

Eleanor Boudreau


Shelby County will have its first elected female District Attorney. Republican Amy Weirich and Democrat Carol Chumney will vie for that position August 2nd.

The property assessor Cheyenne Johnson trounced her opponent in the Democratic primary with 80 percent of the vote. She’ll face off against Republican real estate appraiser Tim Walton. Walton won his three-way primary with 38 percent of the vote.

Shelby County Assessor of Property

If you’re a renter, you can be forgiven for not knowing what the property assessor does. Here’s how it works: The county commission sets the tax rate per $100 in property value. Then the assessor assigns a value to every piece of property in the county. (All told, it’s 385,000 properties.) The more the assessor says your property is worth, the more you pay in property taxes. The primaries for Shelby County Property Assessor are heated because the last time the property assessor completed a major reassessment was January 1, 2009, just after the housing market collapsed, and a lot of people thought that, given the market at the time, their 2009 assessment was too high.