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TN Sec. of State Calls Shelby Co. Election Errors 'Unacceptable'

Citing 10 years of mistakes and wrongdoing, the Tennessee Secretary of State is coming down hard on the Shelby County Election Commission.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Citing 10 years of mistakes and wrongdoing, the Tennessee Secretary of State is coming down hard on the Shelby County Election Commission.

"Nearly every election cycle in the county in recent memory has been plagued by a myriad of errors and complaints of wrongdoing," wrote Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett wrote in a letter to the state Comptroller.

In the letter, Hargett asked the comptroller to launch an audit of the Shelby County Election Commission Administration.

"We are not happy with the status quo as it exists right now," said Robert Meyers, Chairman of the Shelby County Election Commission.

"I agree with the Secretary of State's decision to ask the Comptroller to come in and do an audit," he added.

The audit request comes as more problems surface.

Laura Smith, 96, says her absentee ballot was missing the District 93 State House race between Mike Kernell and G.A. Hardaway.

She showed abc24.com her ballot, while also noting it was missing the U.S. House race.

"I don't know who took them off, but they should have been on," Smith said from her Orange Mound home.

"I hate that they left it off, but it was done." Smith said.

"We don't even know what the mess is, we just know there is a new mess every day," said Hardaway.

"Somebody in the election commission has got to go," he added.

"Whatever is going on down there is like a digital pandemic; it is just really a problem, it is strange and it is worrisome," Kernell said.

"While each example is in and of itself unacceptable, together they indicate a troubling pattern of errors that cannot go unnoticed," Hargett wrote.

"These errors have eroded public confidence in the Shelby County Election Commission Administration to the point where every action taken by them is considered suspect," Targett continued.

"I do understand there is a history here in Shelby County, and the history is what the history is," said Meyers, the Election Chairman.

"Somebody is going the wrong direction if they aren't going to let what you want to do and who you want to vote to," said Smith, as she nodded her head.
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