MEMPHIS, TN - People in Shelby County sound off about the problems at the polls last Thursday. Tonight, a room of people came to learn about what's being done to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Tuesday, District Attorney Bill Gibbons announced he asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to conduct a criminal investigation into the election problems. Wednesday, we learned Congressman Steve Cohen is taking it even further, by asking Attorney General Eric Holder to look into it.
When Daryl Lewis went to the polls last week, he had no idea what he was getting into.
“It should not have been that hard to vote,” said Lewis.
He was turned away, told he'd already voted.
“I could not get anybody on the phone, so I drove down to the Election Commission and they verified that I had not voted,” said Lewis.
He ended up casting a provisional ballot, but he's worried about others who didn't want to go through all that.
“I think there were thousands of people that were disenfranchised due to this process,” Lewis said. “There may have been young people, this was their first time to vote, they were turned away.”
Whatever your problem was, the Shelby County Democratic Party wants to hear from you. Leader Van Turner spoke at a town hall meeting at the electrical workers’ union headquarters in Midtown Memphis Wednesday. He announced they're collecting affidavits to take their case to court.
Former Sheriff Candidate Randy Wade says it isn't about losing.
“It's not about the election now,” Wade told the crowded room. “It's about the contamination, the contamination of the process.”
They want to hear from witnesses too. Former Trustee candidate Regina Morrison Newman says she doesn't buy the election commission's story about what happened with the electronic poll books.
“If they didn't early vote in May, they didn't fall under the profile of what the election commission says happened, so there's another issue,” said Newman.
She also thinks more than 5,000 people could have been affected.
“We're going to find out what happened,” said Newman. “We're going to bring in an expert, and we're going to make sure it doesn't happen again, because this is about the integrity of the process.”
And Daryl Lewis says he plans to fight.
“We're going to fight until we get our rights to vote,” said Lewis. “It was given to us and we deserve that right to vote.”
Congressman Cohen asked that the Department of Justice Civil Rights Voting Section launch an investigation into what happened. He asked the Attorney General to find out if the poll book mistake was negligence or if it was intentional.
The Shelby County Election Commission has agreed to an inspection of all the voting equipment. Commission Chairman Bill Giannini says the Commission will cooperate with the investigation.