Local 24 News is your election headquarters and the second day of early voting came with an unexpected issue at one of the polling locations.
The Shelby County Election Commission confirms one of the early voting sites did open late due to a polling worker mistake. Mississippi Boulevard Church was scheduled to open at 10:00 a.m., but a polling officer got the times mixed up.
“I didn’t see anybody, I didn’t see any representatives. I didn’t see anyone kind of directing the crowd, I didn’t see anyone answering any questions there was literally no one here,” said Kirstin Cheers, who showed up at the church Saturday morning.
An election commission spokesperson is calling this an honest mistake by one of its polling workers, who thought the early voting location was suppose to open at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. Nearly a dozen people who showed up at the correct time were left waiting.
Cheers recorded video of the crowd waiting for a Shelby County Election Commission representative.
“There were about 10 people who did leave, a few of them said we’re going to try to come back, a few of them said they were going to come next week, a few of them said we’ll I have other things I need to do, I’ll come back around. I may have seen 2-3 people come back in the time span that I was here,” Cheers said.
A spokesperson with the election commission says the reason for the delay was tardiness by a polling officer who thought the polls opened at 11.
“I said maybe they overslept, or maybe they got the days mixed up. Since Friday it was 11 to 7, maybe they got it confused,” said Charles Nelson, a campaign worker.
Nonetheless, some voters like Cheers can’t look past the mistake.
“They kept insisting that we got our time wrong. They kept insisting that we were the ones incorrect they kept insisting that about 10-15 people just so happen to walk into Mississippi Boulevard at 10 o’clock in the morning,” Cheers explained.
The Shelby County Democratic Party released this statement about the delay –
“The SCDP has heard multiple reports this morning of polling locations not opening on time, with delays of as much as 45 minutes. Accounts of voters waiting in line and/or leaving without voting, are deeply concerning. It is our sincere hope that Election Commission would re-double its efforts to follow the court-order as it pertains to the opening of these sites and that there will not be a repeat of these issues going forward. However, we remain vigilant in protecting the rights of voters, and are ready to re-engage the legal system, if necessary, to ensure that every person in Shelby County is afforded an equitable opportunity to vote.”
All 27 early voting locations will be open Tuesday, July 17.