Inability to cross party lines has some Knox voters making tough choices

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Knox County (WVLT) Lots and lots of candidates.

Seventy-three to be exact.

But there are only two parties., democrat and republican.

And since the February 5th election is a primary, you cannot vote across party lines.

It's the law.

Volunteer TV's Jim Freeman crossed party lines today to learn what candidates, voters, and those in the election commission office

It's a question Greg Mackay and his election workers must ask when you vote in the upcoming primary election.

Are you voting democratic or republican?

"Now, I know that's going to cause some confusion with some people, and they're going to be upset. We have to do what the law says."

And the law says that in a primary election, you must vote straight down the party line of your choice.

It doesn't matter whether you vote on the democratic side or the republican side.

It's one side only.

Mackay says, "you cannot cross over, as we say. You cannot vote for a candidate for one party for president and then another party for a local office."

It has candidates like Cynthia Stancil who have supporters in the opposite party hoping they'll sacrifice their presidential vote for a local vote.

"Of course, we have Republican friends and they are willing to, I hope, pull that Democratic ticket and vote for us."

Candidate Steve Rogers would like to see voters be able to cross over.

"I wish that was different, because I've got some friends that are democrats that won't be able to vote in the primary for me."

Leslie Gasnow is a registered Knox County voter and says, "well, I wish it was where you could vote for the candidate regardless of the parties, because I know that sometimes I may like a particular person on one side and then another person on the other side."

Like it or not, we'll all be voting straight down the line.

Stancil continues, "everybody going into this knew that was going to be the case. And it's just once of those limitations that we have to deal with on a county-wide election."

You may notice that there are two independents on the list.

They automatically go to the August ballot.

There you may cross over all party lines.

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