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50 voters get wrong ballots at Berclair early voting site

By , Daily Memphian Updated: November 07, 2022 11:23 AM CT | Published: November 04, 2022 3:52 PM CT

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A group of 50 early voters got ballots with the wrong Congressional race on them, according to the Shelby County Election Commission.

The mix-up was discovered Monday, Oct. 31, at Berclair Church of Christ with corrected ballots issued for the rest of that day and the early voting period that ended Thursday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we then conducted another thorough review of all other precincts and no further issues were identified,” Shelby County Elections Administrator Linda Phillips said in an emailed statement. “To build community confidence and trust in the election process, we must be transparent about any issue with our elections.”

Political Roundup: Early voting, Cohen & Kustoff, Memphis mayor’s race

Early voters are able to vote at any early voting location regardless of where they live and are supposed to get a ballot that shows the district races for where they are registered.

At the Berclair location, the election commission’s review shows 50 voters should have had the 8th Congressional district race on their ballots, according to their voter registration address, but instead had the 9th Congressional district race.

The 8th District general election race features incumbent Republican David Kustoff of Germantown who is being challenged by Democratic nominee Lynnette Williams and independents James Hart and Ronnie Henley.

The 9th District general election race features incumbent Democrat Steve Cohen of Memphis who is being challenged by Republican nominee Charlotte Bergmann and independents Dennis Clark, Paul Cook and George Flinn.

The boundaries for the two Congressional districts that take in Memphis and Shelby County changed last year in the once-a-decade redistricting process based on the U.S. Census.

Smaller Shelby County ballot yields lower early voter turnout so far

The erroneous ballots could come into play in contesting the results for either general election race if the margin of victory for one candidate over another is 50 votes or less.

By state law, a losing candidate contesting certified election results must show there were voting irregularities affecting enough votes to change the outcome of the race by the legal standard for overturning that result.

Through Thursday, Nov. 3, the last day of the 14-day early voting period, a total of 120,650 cast early and absentee ballots according to turnout numbers from the election commission.

The turnout compares to 188,668 early voters in the 2018 version of the same election cycle and 84,723 in the 2014 early voting period.


Shelby County Election Commission Linda Phillips Nov 8 2022 election

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Bill Dries

Bill Dries

Bill Dries covers city and county government and politics. He is a native Memphian and has been a reporter for more than 40 years.


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