Group calls for investigation of Davidson Co. election - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Group calls for investigation of Davidson Co. election

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

A public interest group in Nashville is calling for an investigation into the Davidson County Aug. 2 primary after several prominent Democrats were given Republican ballots.

Sheriff Daron Hall is a lifelong Democrat, and he said he noticed the new high-tech electronic polling books when he went to cast his ballot on Aug. 2. He said the poll worker never asked in which party's primary he intended to vote.

"She was real nice but never asked me any questions about what I wanted to vote in or what my intentions were," Hall said.

Hall said that when he brought up his concern with Davidson County Elections Administrator Albert Tieche, he was told that the system defaulted to a Republican ballot.

Hall says he voted only in the nonpartisan races and does not want to be recorded as having voted in the Republican primary.

And he's not alone. Juvenile Court Clerk David Smith and State Sen. Joe Haynes, D-Nashville, said they were also given Republican ballots.

Advocates with Tennessee Citizen Action said the mix-up can be traced to the new electronic poll books.

"It's come to our attention that the electronic poll books that were used defaulted to a Republican ballot if no ballot was chosen or if a poll worker didn't ask a voter which ballot they wanted," said Mary Mancini, with Tennessee Citizen Action.

State Election Coordinator Mark Goins sent a letter to the Davidson County Election Commission making clear he had expressed concerns about the use of the electronic poll books in the primary election.

Hall said he worries that if it happened to him, it could have easily happened to other voters.

"If I feel pretty in tune with what goes on, what about those that didn't know? And I have no idea who else it could have happened to, but I've talked to enough people that I believe it happened to more than me," Hall said.

The electronic poll books are set to be used in all Davidson County precincts for the November election, but Tennessee Citizen Action is asking that the use of the books be suspended.

Officials are planning a full audit of the August primary and the Davidson County Election Commission.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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