Hargett says it will be ‘surprise’ if full results available by end of Election Day

Secretary of State Tre Hargett speaks with Rep. Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) before Gov. Bill Haslam’s final State of the State address on Jan. 29, 2018 in Nashville. (Photo credit: Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Secretary of State Tre Hargett says it will be a surprise if full results are available by the end of Election Day, according to reporter Hank Hayes of the Kingsport Times-News.

“We’re going to see a spike in absentee ballots. I don’t know how heavy that will be,” Hargett said. “I hope I’m pleasantly surprised like I was in August, when 95 counties had their election results done by midnight.”

The Secretary of State’s office has taken to the courts to try to fend off efforts to expand access to absentee voting during the pandemic.

Early voting starts on Oct. 14 and runs through Oct. 29. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 27. Mail-in ballots must be received via the Postal Service by Election Day in order to be counted.

Hayes pressed Hargett on his plans after the election.

“We’re trying to run an election 50 days from now,” Hargett said. “I am going to ask the legislature to re-elect me for another four-year term in January. I’ve got a lot of work to do. We still see a lot of areas where we think we can do better in. That’s what I’m focused on.”

A joint convention of the General Assembly will vote on the next four-year term for the Secretary of State in January. Hargett, a former state lawmaker, was first elected to the job in 2009. He got into some hot water in 2014 after a staffer reserved a website for a potential gubernatorial bid.

Hargett acknowledged to WTVF-TV at the time it might not have looked good, but said the site had been reserved to protect him from someone else grabbing it. He later announced he wouldn’t run for governor.

13 Responses to Hargett says it will be ‘surprise’ if full results available by end of Election Day

  • Avatar
    Donna Locke says:

    Re-elect Hargett.

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    Beatrice Shaw says:

    when does he run again?

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      “A joint convention of the General Assembly will vote on the next four year term for the Secretary of State next January.”

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    Eddie White says:

    Many states, maybe most, elect their Secretary of State by popular vote much like their other executive officers. I wish Tennesseans had the same option. It certainly would create a nice bullpen for future governors and US senators.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      We need to elect our Secretary of State and Attorney General. We need to have election runoffs so people aren’t elected to high office with less than 20% of the vote. We need to close our primaries. What we really need is a series of constitutional amendments or statutes to change Tennessee’s electoral laws that are so in need of reform.

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        Perry Aubric says:

        I for once agree with all that Stuart says here (might want to mark that down).

        I would also add a popular election of the State Treasurer and the Lieutenant Governor (and a redefinition of duties for that office). I may be mistaken, but Tennessee might be the only state in which the Lt. Gov. has absolutely no administrative responsibilities.

        Also a prohibition of holding more than one elected office at a time (I recall one instance in which someone was in the General Assembly, was mayor of a city, and chairman of the local school board all at the same time). This can head off conflicts of interest.

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      John W Niven Jr says:

      Who says it isn’t ?

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      Donna Locke says:

      Tre Hargett would be a good governor.

  • Avatar
    John W Niven Jr says:

    Who says it isn’t ?

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    David Collins says:

    It’s funny how positions change over time. I can remember back in the 70′ and 80’s, when the Democrats had a super majority in the legislature, how they wanted party registration and primary run off laws. At that time, the Republicans screamed that such action would punish independent voters and that was not fair [even though then, as now, the law said only bona fide members of a political party could vote in primary elections]. When you make the constitutional offices, Secretary of State; Treasurer; Comptroller; and Attorney General elected positions, Stuart is correct in that they become “training grounds” for those wanting to seek higher political office. A concept that is always popular with want-to-be officeholders and rarely popular with the incumbent office holders. Indeed, the battle cry to abolish the popularly elected Public Service Commission was, according to proponents of the move, because it was nothing but a grooming ground for future statewide office seekers. One final fact y’all might find interesting, The Lt. Governor in Tennessee is not required to be a member of the State Senate. He always has been but there is no constitutional requirement that he be.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Just ending the 1,000’s of tricks the Republicans use to suppress votes would be a great start in making progress towards election integrity.

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