Nashville, Tenn. (November 10, 2016) – With less than 200 votes separating incumbent Eddie Smith from challenger Gloria Johnson, election commission officials are going through the process of looking through the final votes cast. In response to issues raised around provisional ballots and the limited information regarding who cast them, Democratic Party officials are seeking to ensure adequate time is given to count all remaining provisional ballots, while Republican election officials appear to be slow walking the process in order to run out the clock.
“As Tennessee Republican Party spokesperson Brent Leatherwood said in 2011, ‘Even a handful of voters, as we’ve seen time and time again, can change the outcome of an election,’” said Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini, “We are witnessing over 500 incidents of potential voter disenfranchisement. We’re committed to safeguarding this essential right, and, clearly, Republicans are not.”
Voters casting provisional ballots due to a lack of proper identification are allowed just 48 hours to go to the county election commission and present documents in order to have their vote counted. The Knox County election commission has refused thus far to release the names of those who voted on provisional ballots, making it difficult for either campaign to ensure voters know their rights and what the timeline is to make sure their vote counts.