Democrats in the state legislature and state election officials exchanged letters Tuesday over problems in the Aug. 2 election with election officials saying they were mostly confined to Shelby County.
Excerpt from the CA report (which also has a lot on the Shelby County back-and-forth):
Tuesday’s developments were the latest in an ongoing story about issues in the Aug. 2 state primaries, county general elections and municipal referendums.
A letter to Hargett signed by 25 of the 34 Democrats in the House on Tuesday expressed “great concern” about problems ranging from voters being issued incorrect ballots to people who the letter says had proper identification not being allowed to vote.
The letter asked Hargett, whose department includes the state election coordinator’s office, how many people were not given a correct ballot and not allowed to vote in their “preferred primary or rightful district,” whether there is a uniform procedure at voting locations that voters are aware of and obtain the correct ballot, and how many were denied ballots because of ID issues.
Goins responded by saying the “problems in Shelby County have been well documented … (and) outside of Shelby County, we are aware of only a handful of isolated incidents, mostly involving poll worker error.”
Goins said 277 people statewide cast provisional ballots because they lacked proper photo ID, and 115 of them were counted in the election because voters returned within two business days of election day with proper IDs. The other 162 were not counted.
Update Note: Fitzhugh and Turner didn’t think much of Goins response to their first letter. See below.
Statement from House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner on Wedneaday:
“This morning, we read in the paper a response from Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins regarding our inquiry into the voting irregularities of August 2nd. While we have yet to formally receive the response, we are troubled by the hasty and dismissive tone of what we read in the press. We had hoped for a more thorough review of the problems experienced by voters statewide. We have yet to be told how many people were given incorrect ballots and we still do not know the uniform procedure for ensuring voters receive the correct ballot. We are also extremely concerned that the Coordinator of Elections believes these problems to be relegated to Shelby County, when incidents were very clearly identified in Davidson, Dickson, Sumner, Rutherford and Hamilton Counties. While we review our options going forward, we hope that Coordinator Goins will take a more serious look at the voting irregularities of August 2nd and return a more satisfactory report. The integrity of our elections depends upon it.”