Tag Archives: refuse

Former Congressman Lincoln Davis Turned Away from Voting

Former Congressman Lincoln Davis says he was denied the right to vote Tuesday in his native Fentress County, where he has been casting ballots since 1964.
“If I had moved here from somewhere else recently, maybe I could understand it,” said Democrat Davis. “But a former congressman, a former state senator and a civic leader… and nobody even notified me I’d been taken off the rolls?”
“Now I know how the black man must have felt a hundred years ago,” he said in a telephone call to a reporter.
Davis said he arrived at his usual voting place near his home in the Pall Mall community about an hour before the polls closed and was told by election officials he was not registered in the county and could not vote. Davis said he contacted state Election Coordinator Mark Goins, who let the decision of local officials stand.
The former congressman, who was defeated by Republican Scott DesJarlais in a bid for reelection in 2010, said he was told that he was registered to vote in adjoining Pickett County and could not vote in two counties.
Actually, Davis said he is registered to vote only in Byrdstown city elections and can do so legally since he owns property in the city, which is located in Fentress County and which he once served as mayor.
Davis said Tennessee has made it easier to vote in the past, being the final state approving women’s suffrage in 1920 and being a pioneer state in authorizing early voting.
“Why is it now that we’re making it harder for people to vote?” he said.
Blake Fontenay, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office and Goins, said the rejection of Davis as a voter was “regrettable and something we certainly did not want to see happen.”
“The bottom line on this one is we’re going to have to investigate to see what happened here,” Fontenay said. “How and why he got purged in Fentress County we don’t know yet.”
Fontenay said Goins advised Davis to cast a provisional ballot, but apparently the polls had closed before the former congressman could return to do so.

UPDATE: Goins says he called Davis Tuesday evening after the former congressman had already talked at some length to Fentress County Election Administrator Joey Williams. Goins said both men urged Davis to return quickly to his precinct to cast a provisional ballot.
“He did not seem interested in voting provisional,” said Goins. “I kept saying, ‘Get down there and vote’. We can handle this.”
Goins said he was not certain of the time he talked with Davis, though it may have been about 6:20 p.m., which could have left time for Davis to get back to the polls.
A provisional vote allows a person to cast his or her ballot with a decision made later on whether it will be counted.
Goins said Davis appears on records as a registered voter for general elections in Pickett County, not just as a Byrdstown city voter, and was purged from Fentress County rolls. He said officials would look into details of the situation Wednesday.
“It’s not a situation where we were denying him the right to vote,” Goins said. “We’ve just got to figure this out.”

On Campfield’s Restaurant Experience

Sen. Stacey Campfiel, in a blog post, has given an account of being denied service at the Bistro restaurant in Knoxville. An excerpt:

I had not said anything. I was just standing there waiting for a table when the owner came up and started yelling at me calling me names and telling me they were not going to serve me because of my alleged beliefs saying I hate gays. I said in as calm a way as I could that I don’t hate gays and the things I have said were backed up by the CDC. I offered to send her the links.
I have been quite open and clear on my beliefs and have backed them up with facts from the CDC and others. Unfortunately some people do not let facts get in the way of their prejudice.
She looked confused on what to do for a second then she started to yell and call me names again so I figured it was better to just leave. As Jesus said, “If you are not welcomed in a town shake the dust off your feet and move on”. My friends and I went to latitude 35 and had a good breakfast.
The cries of “Ha ha. we showed him!” fall flat to me. It is not I who lost out. My friends and I still had a good meal. We just gave our money to a more gracious host.
What was showed was a lack of professionalism. In my legislative role I have always had an open door to any of my constituency. Gay rights groups have been in my office several times and I would like to think that even though we may disagree on some issues I have always treated them graciously.

Sam Venable, meanwhile, applauds the senator’s eviction.
Any joint that won’t serve Stacey Campfield is my kind of place.
As you and half of the civilized world know by now, state Sen. Bozo was told to take his business elsewhere when he attempted to enter the Bistro for Sunday brunch.
Here is the direct quote Bistro owner Martha Boggs told me: “I said I wasn’t serving that (s.o.b).”
Have mercy! Let those words be cast in bronze and permanently affixed to the building.
“I didn’t do this for publicity,” Boggs added. “I just did it because somebody needed to stand up to that bully. I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response.”