Error causes hundreds of TN voters to receive wrong ballots, vote in incorrect congressional races

Hundreds of early Tennessee voters learned that they voted in the wrong congressional races, thanks to a redistricting mishap that caused citizens to receive the wrong ballot.

According to the Davidson County Election Commission, 438 voters were impacted by the error, and officials are working “endless hours” to fix it.

“We have worked endless hours to check people’s precincts to make sure that they would have access to the correct ballot, before they show up on Tuesday,” Jeff Roberts with Davidson County Elections told Fox17 Nashville. “Now, in order to do that, some individuals may vote, instead of voting on the voting machines, you will be offered a yellow envelope that has your name on it with your specific ballot inside.”

Before they can figure out how the mistake happened and how to insure it never happens again, Roberts says they must get through Tuesday’s election.

“We will then sit down and see what caused the issue to begin with, you know, ‘where did it originate?’ So that when we do re-districting again in 10 years, we don’t go through this issue, with the voters getting in the wrong, misassigned precinct,” he said.

The problem first came to light on November 1, when the Associated Press called Roberts’ office and informed him that “voters were receiving conflicting information about what race they could vote in,” Fox News reported last week.

Roberts discovered that “more than 200 votes have been cast in the wrong places in Nashville since early voting began in Tennessee,” the outlet stated.

It all stems from a move by Republican lawmakers earlier this year to split up multiple Davidson County districts while redrawing Nashville’s congressional maps. The aim was to flip a Democratic seat red.

“As a result,” Fox News explained on Monday, “voters now live in splintered precincts, and some have been incorrectly grouped in the wrong district.”

Naturally, the error outraged many Tennessee voters.

“You should have not just checked to make sure that these maps are accurate, you shouldn’t have just double-checked to make sure that these maps are accurate, you should have tripled down to make sure that these maps were accurate,” said Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Hendrell Remus at a press conference on Friday.


(Video: YouTube)

When asked what he would say to voters who may be concerned about the legitimacy of Tuesday’s elections after a mix-up such as this, Roberts insisted voters should feel “confident.”

“I think what we would say is you should feel confident after the changes that we made last night that you will get the correct ballot,” he told Fox17. “If you think about it, if we wanted to hide something, would we have agreed to sit down with you guys and answer all the questions and give you the numbers that we’ve got?”

“Not likely,” he stated. “We would have tried to sweep it under the rug and move on.”

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Melissa Fine

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