Election officials search for answers for voters getting wrong ballots
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Election officials are working to figure out how more than 200 Nashville voters cast ballots in the wrong district as part of early voting.
People lined up at early voting location sites across Nashville on Thursday for the last chance to cast their ballots ahead of election day. Voters said they paid extra attention to the congressional districts listed on their ballots after this issue was discovered.
Tennessee Republicans have pushed for tighter election laws, including voter ID cards, to prevent election fraud. However, Republican Party chairman Scott Golden said this ballot mix up was just an unfortunate mistake.
“When we have already had close to 180,000 votes cast in all those three congressional districts, it’s unfortunate that less than 200 people ended up getting to vote, but not in the district that they were supposed to be in,” Golden said.
“This wasn’t a case of people not being able to vote. People were able to vote. This was a case where they were coded incorrectly and they were given the wrong ballot by the local election commission.”
Golden said Republicans are still concerned about election security and possible cheating, but he said these voters did not know they had been given the wrong ballot. He is upset the issue was not reported sooner by a voter who noticed they had incorrect candidates listed on their ballot, but he does not expect it to have an impact on the election’s outcome.
Tennessee Republicans will file legal challenges if the outcomes of these congressional races are very close, Golden said, but it has been a long time since an election was decided by a tight margin.
Davidson County Election Commission Administrator of Elections Jeff Roberts said there may have been issues with people voting in the wrong district as far back as the primary election due to the redistricting, but they have not been able to confirm any additional problems at this point.
Golden said he would like to see an investigation to see how long this has been a problem and make sure there are safeguards in place to prevent it from happening again.
“We’ve got to do a better job on the coding,” Golden said. “We’ve got to do a better job on the maps now that we are aware. Tennessee does a great job of adapting what we learn and do a better job going forward.”
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