Tennessee Voter Suppression Makes A Mess Of State Races
Gerrymandering in Tennessee has made a mess of multiple political races during early voting in the state. According to ABC 24, more than 200 votes were cast in the wrong races in Nashville since early voting began on Oct. 19.
Jeff Roberts, the Davidson County election administrator told the public his office reviewed data after they learned on Tuesday night voters were receiving the wrong information about what races they should be voting in. They found that 190 voters cast ballots in the wrong congressional race, 16 cast votes in the wrong state Senate race, and six cast votes in the wrong state House race. Although the mistake has really made a mess of multiple elections, Roberts says he sent the correct updates to the Secretary of State’s office earlier Wednesday morning and that, “The fix has been put in place.”
Unfortunately, there are no ‘do-overs’ after a ballot is cast and officials say votes that have already been cast will be counted for those races. Voters can not retract their vote after the fact.
In February Gov. Bill Lee signed a congressional redistricting bill splitting up multiple precincts throughout Davidson County and redrawing congressional maps in Nashville to steal an otherwise Democratic seat. The gerrymandering has now led to confused voters, wrong ballots, and a lot of frustrated people. Democratic candidates condemned the error calling it voter suppression and calling for an investigation into local election officials.
“To every person that feels frustrated, disenfranchised, don’t disengage,” Odessa Kelly, a Black woman and Democratic nominee in the 7th Congressional District, said at a news conference. “Lean into the process. Lean deep into the process. If you can hear my voice, if you can see my face, this is your election. This is your district. This is your future.”
Kelly also took to her Twitter to call out the blatant gerrymandering in districts in the state.
“This is what happens when a supermajority of Republicans gerrymander the hell out of our districts,” she tweeted. “And it’s why I’ll fight tooth and nail to protect our democracy with legislation like the For The People Act when I’m in Congress.”
GOP officials pushed back saying it was a “ridiculous idea” to blame the congressional maps.
“They’re complaining about something they could’ve sued about, but they didn’t sue because they couldn’t win,” Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton told AP.
In the end, the ones who suffer the most are the voters.
Gerrymandering, Affirmative Action Cases Mark Start Of New SCOTUS Term With Conservative Majority
40 Acres And A Mule: What Are Reparations And Why Is The Concept So Polarizing?