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Election Officials Reviewing Davidson County Primary Ballots

State election officials plan to look at the histories of voters who participated in the Republican primary in Davidson County this month to help determine if voters were routinely given the GOP ballot by default, reports The Tennessean.
Mark Goins, the state’s elections coordinator, said Tuesday that he wants to figure out if Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall’s experience was isolated or common. Advocacy group Tennessee Citizen Action announced publicly Monday what Goins had known for 11 days: that Hall, an elected Democrat, had voted in the Republican primary after poll officials failed to give him a choice.
Tennessee Citizen Action said Hall and others were victims of Davidson County’s new electronic poll books defaulting to the Republican primary if voters didn’t express a preference for one primary or the other on Aug. 2.
While Goins said “default” is actually the wrong term, he acknowledged that the Republican primary was listed first in the poll books, which state law required because the GOP is currently in power in the General Assembly. He said the Republican primary also was highlighted, and poll officials either failed to ask voters if they wanted to vote in a primary or, if they did ask, they failed to highlight the Democratic primary once voters expressed that preference. As a result, those voters received a Republican ballot.

Probe Asked of Democrats Getting Republican Primary Ballots

By Travis Lollar, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A public interest group in Nashville is calling for an investigation into the Aug. 2 Davidson County primary after several prominent Democrats were given Republican ballots.
Tennessee Citizen Action Director Mary Mancini provided reporters on Monday with copies of an Aug. 9 letter from Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall to Davidson County Elections Administrator Albert Tieche.
“I have always been asked which primary I choose to vote in and this time I wasn’t provided that opportunity,” he wrote. “Additionally, I understand from you that the system was set to default to Republican if no one asked or the workers did not change it to vote in the Democratic primary.”
State Elections Coordinator Mark Goins said in an interview that the problem was not exactly a default ballot, but that the choice of a Republican ballot was highlighted on the computer screen poll workers used. Some poll workers must have pressed the highlighted selection without thinking, he said.

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