AP Story on Lincoln Davis Voting Foulup

JAMESTOWN, Tenn. (AP) — Former Tennessee Congressman Lincoln Davis and his wife were turned away from their polling place thanks to a registration mix up.
Davis, who hasn’t missed an election since 1964, said when he was told he couldn’t vote, “I felt sick to my stomach.”
The situation was perplexing to Davis given his prominent status in the area. He not only served in Congress, but also represented the region in the state Senate and House of Representatives. He knows the poll workers and said the administrator of elections has a family farm that adjoins Davis’ own family farm.
“I see him out there feeding the cows,” Davis said.
Fentress County Elections Administrator Joey Williams said that in purging Davis and his wife elections officials acted on a notice received from the state that the couple had re-registered in neighboring Pickett County, where Davis once served as mayor in the county seat of Byrdstown.
The Administrator of Elections in Pickett County, Tim Clark, said the problem was on his end. Davis has voted in Pickett under the special category of property rights voter that allows him to vote in local elections only.
There are separate rolls for property rights voters and resident voters and Davis should have been only on the property rights voting rolls in Pickett County.
He lives in Fentress and should have been registered as a resident voter there for state and national elections, such as Tuesday’s presidential primary.
“It was a clerical error on our part,” Clark said. “We just messed up.”
The state Department of Elections on Wednesday issues an apology to Davis, but a spokesman also said Davis should have voted with a provisional ballot.
“I understand that he was very upset, and he had reason to be,” Blake Fontenay said, “but there was a remedy that he chose not to take.”
Davis was not offered a provisional ballot at the polling place, although after he went home and started making phone calls he was told he could go back in and vote with a provisional ballot.
Davis said he did not do that because he also was told he would have to re-register. Since registration has to take place in advance of voting, he worried that he would be accused of voter fraud and possibly have his voting privileges revoked.

One thought on “AP Story on Lincoln Davis Voting Foulup

  1. Govskeptic

    Of course, Mr. Davis contacted AP as he knew they would report his pathetic little adventure to the polls as a real story worthy of wasting some ink on!
    Move along folks, nothing to see or read here…

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