Officials unveil plan to help voters who cast wrong ballots

Nov 4, 2022, 4:41 PM | Updated: 8:12 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville voters who cast ballots in the wrong congressional and state races will be able to submit a provisional ballot on Election Day, officials announced Friday as part of an agreement sparked by a lawsuit earlier that day.

The decision comes as election officials have scrambled for days to correct Davidson County’s voting system after The Associated Press reported first that nearly 200 Tennesseans had voted in the incorrect congressional races, while 16 cast votes in a wrong state Senate race and six cast votes in a wrong state House race.

Earlier this year, Republican lawmakers split up multiple precincts throughout Davidson County while redrawing Nashville’s congressional maps in hopes of flipping a Democratic seat. As a result, voters now live in splintered precincts and some have been incorrectly grouped in the wrong district. But according to the county, no issues surrounding ballots being cast in the wrong race were raised during the primary, which took place in August.

Jeff Roberts, Nashville’s election administrator, had originally stated that the problem had been fixed Wednesday morning after working throughout the night, combing through the complex county voting system and getting the voting machines up to date.

However, threats of lawsuits continued to mount and by Friday, election officials confirmed that an unknown number of Davidson County voters could still potentially receive the wrong ballot on Election Day, which is Nov. 8. To date, officials have refused to estimate how many voters are at risk of receiving the wrong ballot.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the League of Women Voters eventually filed a legal challenge late Friday, as Nashville city council members were meeting behind closed doors to discuss options on how to ensure voters could still cast a correct ballot.

Nashville’s council is not named in the lawsuit, but Davidson County Election Commission is one of the defendants.

Under the tentative agreement, which a judge approved Friday night, voters may be able to enter a provisional ballot on Election Day at the county election office if they submitted an incorrect ballot during the early voting period. Those provisional ballots will only be opened if the election is contested.

Meanwhile, voters who believe they are given the wrong ballot on a voting machine on Election Day will also be given a chance to use a special paper ballot at their assigned polling places.

Voters whose districts were correctly assigned will cast their ballots on voting machines at their regular polling places.

The order dictates that Davidson County must educate poll workers so that they can assist affected voters. Meanwhile, the Secretary of State’s office will investigate to determine how the problem arose in the first place.

“I feel as confident that I can that the fix is ready to go into place and it will address the issue,” said Wallace Dietz, Nashville’s legal director.

Julia Bruck, spokesperson for the secretary of state’s office, said, “We support the Agreed Order and are grateful that the Court granted relief for the affected voters.”

Roberts did not respond to a request for comment late Friday.

“There is a fix, there is a way for everybody to vote,” Nashville Councilmember Bob Mendes. “That’s my number one priority and we can figure out the blame for this afterwards.”

Meanwhile, a congressional ballot issue also took place in the state’s most populous county, Shelby, which includes Memphis. Local election officials said Friday that 50 ballots were cast at one Memphis polling place for the incorrect congressional race. The 9th Congressional District was listed on the ballot instead of the correct one for those voters, the 8th.

County elections administrator Linda Phillips said the “clerical error” originated at the local level and was immediately corrected on the ballot for future voters. She said no further issues were identified in a review of all other precincts. The mistake was found Oct. 31 after 50 ballots had already been cast.

____

Follow AP’s coverage of the elections at: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections

Check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play in the 2022 midterm elections.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

India’s G-20 energy meet to balance renewables, fossil fuels

BENGALURU, India (AP) — Over 500 energy industry heavyweights and 30,000 participants will descend on the southern Indian city of Bengaluru on Monday to discuss the future of renewables and fossil fuels at India Energy Week — the first big ticket event of the country’s presidency of the Group of 20 leading economies. Speakers, including […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Mega Millions lottery tickets and a wager slip are displayed, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Derry...
Arizona Sports

Drawing nears for $700M Powerball prize, 10th biggest in US

Another huge lottery jackpot will be on the line Saturday for players willing to put up $2 vs. daunting odds of actually winning the prize.
21 hours ago
Chinese spy balloon flies above in Charlotte NC, United States on February 04, 2023. The Pentagon a...
Associated Press

US downs suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast

The United States on Saturday downed a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites.
21 hours ago
A man works at an avocado orchard in Santa Ana Zirosto, Michoacan state, Mexico, Thursday, Jan. 26,...
Associated Press

Route to Super Bowl dangerous for Mexico’s avocado haulers

SANTA ANA ZIROSTO, Mexico (AP) — It is a long and sometimes dangerous journey for truckers transporting the avocados destined for guacamole on tables and tailgates in the United States during the Super Bowl. It starts in villages like Santa Ana Zirosto, high in the misty, pine-clad mountains of the western Mexico state of Michoacan. […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Iraqi currency crash halts after meeting with U.S. official

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s currency ended its nosedive after a meeting between the Iraqi Central Bank head and a top U.S. Treasury official. Under Secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement Saturday that he had met with Central Bank of Iraq Governor Ali al-Allaq in Istanbul […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Gas prices dip in NJ, around nation as cold weather returns

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gas prices dipped in New Jersey and around the country at large as cold weather descended on parts of the nation following an unusually warm January. AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price of a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey on Friday was $3.42, down three cents from last week. […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Officials unveil plan to help voters who cast wrong ballots