Nov 3, 2022 - Politics

Some Nashville voters cast ballots in the wrong races

Illustration of a misprinted ballot with ballot elements in the background.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Election officials say 190 Nashville residents who voted early in the midterms cast their ballots in the wrong congressional district due to a mixup with the newly redrawn boundaries.

  • A review also found 16 people voted in the wrong state Senate district while six cast ballots in the wrong state House district.

Driving the news: Jeff Roberts, the Davidson County election administrator, tells Axios that local and state officials collaborated to fix the problem, which was first reported Tuesday by The Associated Press.

  • Roberts says the problem has been resolved and should not affect any voters today or on Election Day.
  • "After our work … voters should feel confident they will receive the correct ballot," Roberts says.

Yes, but: The Associated Press reports that votes already cast in the wrong races will be counted as is.

The big picture: Republican lawmakers split Nashville among three congressional districts in an effort to eliminate the blue city's reliable Democratic seat. The new boundaries cut through multiple voting precincts.

What they're saying: At a press conference Wednesday, Democratic politicians said the faulty ballots amounted to "voter suppression." They encouraged supporters to vote despite the challenges.

  • "To every person that feels frustrated and disenfranchised, don't disengage. Lean into the process," said Odessa Kelly, the Democratic candidate in Tennessee's redrawn 7th congressional district. "This is your election."

In a statement to The Associated Press, Kelly's Republican opponent U.S. Rep. Mark Green said he was "shocked and disappointed to hear about the balloting issue in Davidson County."

  • "No one should ever have to worry about whether or not their vote was cast properly. The Davidson County Election Commission needs to fix this immediately."

Zoom in: Roberts told The Tennessean that the county's mapping software misclassified some homes on the edges of the district boundaries.

  • "The map that the state has may have divided the boundary line for a precinct down the middle of a street, but instead of us doing that, we scooped up the houses on both sides of the streets," Roberts told the newspaper.

Flashback: The same problem probably affected the May and August elections, Roberts told The Tennessean, although the election commission didn't receive any complaints.

  • "It's difficult to get every single one right," Roberts said. "I mean, we've got places where an apartment complex is divided into two."

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Nashville.

More Nashville stories