Thursday, August 3

Memphis: Hotbed of Political Corruption ... Part Infinity

It was a busy night in the newsroom. Lots of interesting stuff happening in and around town. I'll get to that stuff in another post.

This post I'm devoting solely to the deliciously naughty election-scandal-in-the-making that broke late last night.

The Flyer has this to say:

In an astounding development, the Flyer has learned, ballot materials, including a ballot box to be used for "off-machine" purposes (certain write-in ballots and provisional ballots) and other election-day supplies, were checked out of the Shelby County Election Commission's operations center office at Shelby Farms Wednesday by an unauthorized individual.

The person, apparently impersonating an accredited precinct officer, may have presented forged credentials to retrieve the materials intended for use at a county precinct station in Thursday's election, according to sources. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is conducting an emergency investigation and has summoned Election Commission members and other commission personnel to the operations center.

Bwa ha ha, take that, democracy!

From the CA:

The day before an election all the officers in charge of the county's 279 precincts come to the operations center and pick up metal ballot boxes and election supplies, said election commissioner Richard Holden.

The supplies include things such as ballot applications, signs, and the poll book with the names of registered voters.

When picking up their supplies, the officers are supposed to present an appointment letter and identification.

Elections officials discovered the problem when the real precinct worker arrived at the operations center, Pleasant said.

"They said somebody had come by and picked it up on your behalf. She said, 'No, I didn't send anybody by,' " Pleasant said.

The CA also reports that the TBI says it has the situation under control. They've got the polling place under surveillance all night to see if any funny business goes on. I can't wait to see the idiot who gets caught tinkering (and I really, really hope this person gets caught).

The TBI action began late Wednesday afternoon as election workers made last-minute preparations for today's vote, which features the largest ballot in Shelby County history with 141 races.

Duckett said the loss of the precinct box and the investigation would not affect the integrity of the election.

"Some precautionary measures have been put in place to insure that the election will not be compromised," Duckett said.

Oh, good. I suspect the precincts will be setting up some of these to keep the zombies from voting:

Also, I can't wait for the night to unfold:

"Don't be surprised Thursday night if the results are late coming -- it's the longest ballot in Tennessee history and most counties are using voting machines they've never used before," said State Election Coordinator Brook Thompson. "I expect it is really going to be a late night."


(Photo stolen from NiT)

UPDATE: It was all just one big mushy mix-up after all.


Blogger nashgirl said...

This story needs an update, which is almost funnier because Shelby County got two women with the same name mixed up and automatically assumed there was nefarious activity going on.

Fri Aug 04, 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Well, Shelby County does have a reputation to uphold. It wouldn't be an election year without a potential scandal.

I am going to post an update, though. Excellent idea.

Fri Aug 04, 12:32:00 PM  

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