Several issues plague early Shelby County voters

Early Voting Problems

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – There was a homemade sign among the professionally made campaign signs outside the Bethel Church polling place in Bartlett Monday.

Lloyd Cornmesser made it after running into trouble while casting his ballot there.  It read "I was unable to vote on the school referendum."

"My ballot did not have the school referendum issue on it," said Cornmesser.

He said at least three other people had the same problem although there is no question about where he lives.

"Bartlett, TN 38135," said Cornmesser.  "Been paying Bartlett taxes for 10 years."

"There's issues in every election," said Shelby County Election Administrator Richard Holden.

He explained that Cornmesser lives in what is known as a split precinct.  They are shared by city residents and those in unincorporated Shelby County.

"Our precinct boundaries do not line up perfectly with the city limits," said Holden.

A preliminary search revealed Cornmesser and others were given incorrect ballots.  Holden said you should never cast those if there are questions.

"Do not cast a ballot until we've investigated and worked through the details with you," said Holden.

It likely means Cornmesser missed his opportunity to vote on municipal schools.

"Well, I'm 60 years old," said Cornmesser.  "This has got me fired up more than anything else I've ever done."

Poll workers re-examined procedures regarding split precincts as a result of this mix-up.

Voting issues are not limited to Bartlett.  The town of Collierville suggests residents in newly annexed areas wait a couple of days to vote so maps can be updated.  Meanwhile, officials in Millington are trying to figure out if voters in the recently annexed Lucy community have the right to vote on the school issue.

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