Here’s the link to the full video from WSMV we talked about on the show this morning (sorry, no embed available). A must watch, here’s how it starts:
“I voted every election since 1962,” said Benton County resident Charles Hubbs, 69.
Hubbs registered to vote when John F. Kennedy was president. He said he was shocked when he received a letter in the mail from the Benton County Election Commission letting him know his voter registration was invalid.
He was even more shocked when he found out why.
Unanswered follow up question to the report: just which law is Benton County election admin Mark Ward following? We have a request in to the State Election Commission for clarification and specifics and will update when we get a reply. So far we are unable to find reference to his inorthodox approach in the Tennessee Code, the Help America Vote Act, or the National Voter Registration Act 0f 1993.
“According to state law, this is the only way to do it,” Ward said. “I don’t know any other way to do it.”
But some said Ward went too far by throwing out voter registrations from decades ago.
They said it’s especially difficult for those where the birthplace is on the registration but the citizenship box isn’t checked.
Ward said even if their birth date is on the form, he had to throw out registrations if they didn’t check the box for being over 18.
“It’s not good enough to me because the question isn’t answered on the form,” said Ward.
“Yeah, he followed the law,” said Mark Goins, Tennessee election administrator. “He did exactly what the law said.”
The state acknowledged there’s a mess in Benton County, and while it said Ward followed the law, the state doubts a judge would have invalidated the voter registrations of these longtime voters if there had ever been a challenge.
If this is happening in Benton County, it’s happening in other Tennessee counties as well. Protect your vote – confirm your registration.
UPDATE: Additional reporting from Kumari:
“It appears to me that they are going far beyond the legal, the proper reasons for purging a voter record,” said Rep. Gary Odom, D-Nashville.
Odom said he’s upset that these people are in danger of being thrown off the rolls. He said the way he reads state law, once a person is declared a registered voter, he or she can be purged only for specific reasons, such as committing a felony or dying.
He’s proposing a change to state law that says registered voters can’t be purged if their form is found to be deficient years later, and it would take effect immediately.