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."
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