Harold Ford Jr. to Lose TN Voter Registration

Former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. should lose his Tennessee voter registration since he is now a registered voter in New York, a state official said today.
Blake Fontenay, spokesman for Secretary of State Tre Hargett, said state Division of Election officials had checked Ford’s status as a voter after receiving media inquiries. Late Monday, New York officials verified that Ford had registered as a voter in New York, Fontenay said.
Tennessee law would have allowed Ford to retain his Tennessee registration if he intended that Tennessee remain his permanent home while living in New York temporarily, he said. But when Ford registered as a New York voter, that should have terminated his Tennessee registration.
Under applicable law, Fontenay said, New York officials should have notified Shelby County, Tenn., election officials of Ford’s registration. Shelby County officials should then have purged Ford’s name.
Fontenay said Ford did nothing wrong and on his New York registration has noted that he was previously registered in Shelby County, Tenn.
He said it was unclear whether New York officials failed to notify Shelby County officials, as they should have, or whether Shelby County officials received a notice and failed to respond by dropping Ford’s Tennessee registration.
Democrat Ford, who lost to Republican Bob Corker in 2006 U.S. Senate race, last voted in Tennessee in 2008, records indicate. He publicly considered a run for the U.S. Senate in New York earlier this year, but ultimately decided against it.
Fontenay said state election officials have notified Shelby County election officials of Ford’s registration in New York.
“It is our recommendation that he be purged from voter rolls in Tennessee,” said Fontenay.
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A different situation applies in the case of Ford’s father, former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Sr., who is now living in Florida while maintaining a voter registration in Tennessee. There is no indication, however, that the senior Ford has registered to vote in Florida, he said.
Ford Jr. last voted in Tennessee in November of 2008 and registered in New York in November, 2009, according to Fontaney.

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