Press release from Tennessee Sen. Jim Kyle, D-Memphis; June 15, 2012:
NASHVILLE – Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle has requested that the State Election Commission look into allegations that more than 11,000 Tennessee voter history files have been inadvertently purged without cause.
“Everyone should be able to have confidence in the election process and know that their right to vote has been upheld,” Kyle said. “These allegations put the integrity of the ballot box at risk in Tennessee.”
Kyle called for the investigation on the eve of the State Election Commission’s meeting Monday at noon to discuss the alleged disappearance of the voting history files, which are integral to determining active voter statuses and keeping registered voters on the rolls.
The discussion of purged voters arose initially in Shelby County, where it was alleged that 488 voters found their voting histories had been purged. In a subsequent analysis by the Tennessee Democratic Party, the TNDP stated that voter history files have gone missing in 69 Tennessee counties, including 3,000 voter files in Davidson County alone.
State law allows local county election commissions to purge voters who have not voted in the last two federal elections and haven’t responded to an address confirmation notice. The allegation that voter histories have been changed undermines the confidence citizens have that the outcome of their elections is true and accurate.
Kyle met with Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Elections Coordinator Mark Goins last week regarding the voter history files, and Kyle will attend Monday’s State Election Commission meeting.
“My impression is that the Secretary of State’s office is taking this issue very seriously, and that seriousness has been reflected in their actions,” Kyle said. “I will recommend that the commission create a process through which this entire issue can be reviewed.”