A political flyer recently sent out in the Nashville’s vice mayor race has created some controversy.
The flyer was mailed to voters by the Sheri Weiner campaign.
Weiner and Jim Shulman are in the runoff election for vice mayor.
At first glance, the flyer looks like a sample ballot from the Davidson County Election Commission. At the top it says sample ballot and lists the polling locations and the two candidates running for vice mayor.
Upon closer look, there’s a check mark next to Weiner’s name and further down the flyers are the words “Paid for by the Sheri Weiner Campaign” as required by law.
Shulman said it may be legal, but it sends a confusing message.
“When you have a piece that looks like it came from Metro government and you open it and you look at it and you go, ‘Why is Metro sending me a piece and telling me who to vote for?’” said Shulman. “Anybody who is making that claim has a pretty low opinion of Nashville voters.”
Councilman Dave Rosenberg, Weiner’s campaign manager, said the flyer contains important information since Metro is not sending out sample ballots.
“In that it lets people know when the election is happening, where they can vote and what race will be on the ballot,” said Rosenberg.
News4 received an email from a viewer concerned that the flyer looked like it came from Metro government.
“It was certainly crafted to create the impression that it was an official notice about the runoff election for vice mayor, but certain parts of it caught my attention,” wrote the viewer in an email.
“So it may be clever, but it also may deceive the voter,” said Shulman. “We have some savvy voters, especially the voters who are going to come out and vote in this kind of a low turnout election.”
The Davidson County Election Commission saved $50,000 in this runoff election by not sending out sample ballots.
So far this year Nashville has held six elections.