Problems at Nashville polls frustrate voters, lawmakers
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
Election Day did not go smoothly at the polls in many parts of Nashville. Not only were there long lines, but also some voters left without ever casting a ballot.
At several precincts around Nashville, a lack of provisional ballots left some voters out in the cold. That has some lawmakers asking serious questions.
"I came to vote, and they said I was inactive. I'm not sure what happened," said rejected voter Erica Balduc.
Voter advocacy groups like Tennessee Citizen Action said they were swamped with calls about precincts running out of provisional ballots and forms for changes of address.
They also said many voters showed up to vote only to find out they had been purged.
The situation got so serious, that state lawmakers actually called the Davidson County Election Commission to get help.
"I would just say we've been very disappointed in the director of Metro Election Commission. There have been some glaring issues," said State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville.
For now, they have been given no answers as to why workers were seemingly so unprepared at the polls. But both parties agree, if voter confidence is starting to fail in Nashville it is time to change that.
"If we've had flaws or problems, we want to do everything we can to correct them," said House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville.
And for some voters, that confidence in the system is definitely starting to wane.
"It's just very discouraging to vote this year. Basically, a lot of changes, and people want to vote. And I see a lot of people are being turned away," said purged voter Renita Black.
Channel 4 News attempted Wednesday to contact Metro Election Administrator Albert Tieche but was told he was not available to comment.
However, we did speak with State Election Coordinator Mark Goins, who said they were aware there were issues with running out of change-of-address forms and provisional ballots and are looking into whether or not polling places had adequate supplies.
Goins also said these were issues they only saw in Davidson County.
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