Election administrator: 212 ballots cast incorrectly in 3 precincts; claims problem has been fixed

By: - November 2, 2022 10:54 am
A sign reminds voters they need photo ID to vote at polling station at Hillsboro Presbyterian Church on Election Day, Nov. 6, 2018 in Nashville. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A sign reminds voters they need photo ID to vote at polling station at Hillsboro Presbyterian Church on Election Day, Nov. 6, 2018 in Nashville. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Davidson County Elections Administrator of Elections Jeff Roberts said Wednesday that an error that caused some Nashville voters to cast ballots in the wrong race was resolved by local and state officials on Tuesday night.

The Associated Press first reported on Tuesday that in at least one precinct, including the 7th Congressional contest, some voters were given the wrong ballots, casting votes for candidates who did not represent their districts.

Roberts said on Wednesday he had determined the errors extended to voters in three districts and the races included state Senate, House and Congressional districts.

A total of 190 voters were given incorrect ballots for Congressional races; six cast incorrect ballots in state House races; and 16 in state Senate races.

Some Nashville residents voted in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional district who should have voted in the 7th; some voted for candidates in the 6th district who instead should have been voting in the 7th; and some cast votes for 7th districts who should, instead have been voting in the 5th, Roberts said.

“We have taken the time to go back and see where this happened,” he said. “We corrected this last night.”

Roberts said that, beginning today, the voting issues have been resolved. Early voting ends Thursday. The general election is November 8.

“Our effort now is focused on fixing the situation,” he said. “We will dig back into this to see how it happened.”

But Roberts said he has some idea of how the error happened, giving one example: Take a street where, according to election data kept by the Tennessee Comptroller, a line might have been drawn down the middle to demarcate election district lines.

“We scooped in houses on both sides of the road, instead of the houses on the even or odd side of the street,” Roberts said.

Asked if he thought the origin of the problem lies with state officials or local election officials, Roberts said “without more information, I would start off by saying we have to assume we did not do something right before we throw shade at the state.”

Roberts said he “can say very confidently” he does not believe there was anything nefarious behind the ballot errors.

“After Nov. 8, the next step will be to try to understand how we got to where we were yesterday,” he said. Today,

Roberts said he is focusing on a more immediate problem: one polling location is down 60% of its workers due to illness. He declined to identify the location so as not to discourage voters from showing up.

“We’ve solved this issue for today,” Roberts said of the miscast ballots.

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Anita Wadhwani
Anita Wadhwani

Anita Wadhwani is a senior reporter for the Tennessee Lookout. The Tennessee AP Broadcasters and Media (TAPME) named her Journalist of the Year in 2019 as well as giving her the Malcolm Law Award for Investigative Journalism. Wadhwani is formerly an investigative reporter with The Tennessean who focused on the impact of public policies on the people and places across Tennessee. She is a graduate of Columbia University in New York and the University of California at Berkeley School of Journalism. Wadhwani lives in Nashville with her partner and two children.

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