Voter Beware: Ballot Problems Not Resolved

Aug 2, 2012

Political Science Professor at the University of Memphis Michelle Bliss lives in state House District 93, where two incumbent state representatives are squaring off. Mike Kernell has been in the state legislature for more than 30 years, but he’s fighting for his party’s nomination against fellow Democrat G.A. Hardaway. It’s the kind of contest that could be decided by a few hundred votes and Bliss wanted to weigh in, but the race that popped up on her ballot was House District 98.

“And I immediately went, ‘Excuse me, I have a problem.’” Bliss said.

That was during early voting. About 2,000 people voted in a district they do not live in during early voting. Bliss didn’t. She canceled her ballot and left.

“It was very frustrating,” Bliss said.  

The Shelby County Election Commission made mistakes when it updated its voter rolls after a recent redistricting. The  commission is working to fix those errors, but the corrections aren’t complete. To check what Tennessee House and Senate District you are in visit the official state maps and zoom in until you see your address.

An audit by the comptroller is going to look into operations at the election commission.