Friday, May 11, 2007

District 89 Early Voting Problems

The Democratic candidates in the District 89 primary went down to the Shelby County Election Commission this morning to vote for themselves first thing this morning, and by all accounts… Both walked away quite disappointed.

These kinds of mistakes would be understandable, though still bad, if they were made by the poll workers drafted into action every Election Day.

But they weren’t. These were full time Shelby County Election Commission Employees.

The first candidate to show up was Kevin Gallagher. He filled in his form and requested the Democratic Primary ballot. And when he got into the booth, he was given… The Republican choices.

He got out to try to sort out the mistake, and Jeannie Richardson had arrived. I personally know that Jeannie Richardson is a registered voter in District 89. She registered there two months ago. The full time Election Commission employees (Again, not election workers but full time Election Commission personnel) did not show her as a registered voter.

Kevin was eventually able to get the mess straightened out and to cast a vote for himself. But apparently, the Republican Primary is programmed in as a default, which can change the numbers drastically if it goes unrepaired. This is a relatively small special election--- What happens to someone that isn't a diehard follower of politics that goes in to vote based on name recognition and doesn't recognize the names?

And, as of 11:30 this morning, one candidate, Jeannie Richardson, had been unable to exercise her right to vote at all.

If these problems are not addressed, both candidates have legal grounds to throw this eleciton out.

As I was seconds away from publishing this story, I found out that Kevin Gallagher's wife Terry had the same problem her husband had. So as of five minutes ago, this problem is not fixed.


Edward Frick said...

Oh, the REPUBLICAN candidates were the only ones shown. What a surprise!

The Diebold machines should be ground into mulch. The damn things have been proven, time and again, to be bug-plagued, intentionally rigged, or both.

Coupled with the complete, bone-numbing incompetence of our County Election Commission, this does not bode at all well for the elections yet to come.

Edward Frick said...

....and upon further reflection, it goes without saying it doesn't bode well for Democracy in general!

tyrfboard said...

Mr. Frick might want to note that almost every employee of the SCEC is a known Democrat, that the Democrats control the Election Commission itself, that the Democrats made the decision to go with Diebold, and that the SCEC was humming along just fine when it had a Republican Deputy Administrator up until several years ago.

In the last election, I think the Dem primary was the default option in some cases and there were plenty of complaints from Republicans who wanted to vote in the R primary and got a Dem ballot.

I have some sympathy for the SCEC. Normally, they have a rest period of at least a year where they can develop and test systems and fix problems. We have had eight special elections since 2003 - ALL of them caused by DEMOCRATS leaving office due to corruption indictments or moving on to higher-paying offices/jobs in the middle of the terms they agreed to serve.

This election is itself a result of Beverly Marrero's arrogance - moving up to a higher office at a cost to taxpayers of $200,000!

When the Republican Party had one of its own consider leaving in the middle of his term for a high-paying private job, the backlash within the Party was so strong that he decided to finish out his term and not charge the taxpayers for his personal gain. I am amazed and shocked that Democrats let their own officials get away with it - and even encourage their arrogance and blood-thirst for power.

I hope that someday soon that the one-party tyrannical Democratic rule of the state legislature will end and a new day will dawn from Mountain City to Memphis - including at the offices of the Shelby County Election Commission.

Sharon Cobb said...

Some day, I've got to get down to Memphis and do a documentary on Memphis politics.
I guess my biggest hesitation is I'd need a bodyguard for the rest of my shortened life.

Anonymous said...

This is ludicrous. You are just trying to make trouble for that bastion of efficiency and accuracy. Just wait til the dead voters weigh-in on this matter and we'll see about the outcome.

On a serious note, being as 99% of dead voters are democrats, and the EC is ruled by democrats, I guess it's not really about getting accurate results, so long as the EC workers feel good about themselves.

Where are the democratic voters? Why does the local steering committee not rail against the members of the EC? Whatever happened to AC (Mr Slick) Wharton's committee to study the EC?

Talk about the EC and it's inefficiencies all you want, but until you democrats get in the game and demand they fix this crap, crap we shall have. The independents are totally disenfranchised, and the republicans are a non-factor because it is a majority rule situation and the dems like the crookedness they already control! Until you step up to the plate, and demand changes, you have no one but yourself to blame for this lunacy. (IMNSHO)

Edward Frick said...


Since I do not have the SCEC employee political-affiliation demographic spreadsheet in front of me (as you apparently do)I can not comment on the Democrat-vs-Republican make-up of the commission. However, I can tell you that Democrats did, in fact, protest loudly, lustily, and long against the purchase and use of the Diebold machines. I was present at a number of demonstrations of the contraption to local political groups. The reception was chilly, at best. Given that the machine itself is the product of a corporation owned by a wing-nut Republican (who, as I recall, offered to "deliver Ohio" for the malevolent buffoon Bush) local Democrats were NEVER enamored of these machines. The SCEC proceeded, against the stated wishes of many Democrats, to purchase the machines. Since I am an equal opportunity malcontent, I stand by my statement that the SCEC is riddled with incompetence; I am the first to admit that incompetence, like corruption, knows no party boundary.

As for your statement that one of our special elections was the result of "Beverly Marrero's arrogance", I can only imagine that had this been a special election in East Tennessee to fill a Senate seat, you would have been singing a different tune. If this were a homophobic, mysoginistic, racist East Tennessee theocrat attempting ascension to the State Senate, I sincerely doubt that you would have been complaining about the "cost to taxpayers". Beverly will serve as a bulwark against the neo-fascist fantasy legislation of your Republican brethren in the state Senate, and I thank God every moment for her, and for her election.

"Blood thirst for power"...good grief! We are currently enduring the most corrupt, authoritarian dangerous regime in our history. George Bush is using the Constitution for toilet paper, and you accuse Democrats of being "thirsty for power"? I am always astounded when that sort of cognitive dissonance does not cause your little pin-heads to explode, tyrf.

I have no doubt that you long for a "new day" from Mountain City to Memphis, tyrf; a new day of theocracy, homophobia and racism written into law, and complete abolition of a woman's right to choose. Check the polls, tyrf. The American people, even the electorate here in Tennessee, have had enough. A "new day" will indeed dawn....but the sunrise will not appear quite as you wish.

Edward Frick said...

And as for you, "anonymous"...normally I don't bother to respond to anyone who does not have the intestinal fortitude to at least post with some sort of blogger "nom de guerre". If you are going to enter the fray of these often to-the-death discussions, at least show the courtesy (and courage)to pen comments with a name attached to them.

I can only assume that, since you already know that your comment "Dems like the crookedness they aleady control" was essentially both idiotic and indefensible, you felt it safer to remain in the dark, cozy, fetid cave of anonymity.