Cohen defends himself against attacks on voter roll inaccuracies

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – A concern over possible Shelby County voter roll inaccuracies has turned political. It is turning into the first big attack against incumbent Congressman Steve Cohen by Democratic challenger Tomeka Hart in District Nine. Tonight Cohen is defending his actions.

"We need leadership that is going to work on an issue until it is resolved not just every time it comes in the media," Tomeka Hart said.

That jab by ninth district Congressional candidate Tomeka Hart is focused on incumbent ninth district congressman Steve Cohen. Hart says Cohen hasn't followed through with finding out what has been wrong with the voter rolls since he first discovered an issue in 2011.

"Just follow through. Just putting a phone call out and not knowing what would happen in the end," she added.

Nearly 500 voters feared they were purged from the rolls. That's because voter history reports from the election commission showed inaccurate information. The histories are public record, and can be purchased.

Congressman Cohen says he's been actively on top of this situation since his staff first realized there was a problem, and he has the documentation to prove it: emails going back and forth with the Election Commission for well over a year.

"I'm pleased that my staff was able to find the error and seek correction," Cohen said.

Instead of firing back directly at his opposition, Cohen is asking the Election Commission to fix the problem. Shelby County Election Chairman Robert Meyers says there isn't a problem with the voter rolls themselves but instead with the reports that print off showing voter history and that no voters have been purged that shouldn't be.

"It's still a serious error. The election commission has public records and when they give public records out they are suppose to be accurate," Cohen added.

The congressman says he has made Attorney General Eric Holder aware of his concerns about the inaccuracies in the public voter history reports and that he has also told the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez.

Action News 5 will stay on this story until we hear from the election commission that their computer glitch has been corrected. We will also continue following the developments in the District Nine Congressional race.

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