Ballot problems are not stopping early voters

Some Shelby County voters given wrong ballots

(WMC-TV) – At least 1,300 Shelby County voters were given the wrong ballot, causing a 5 percent error rate in early voting.

Election experts say those ballots will probably not count toward the election. And some say the controversy may have to be settled in court. But that ballot error is not stopping people from flocking to the polls.

While some voters agree that problems with the ballots are unfair and unfortunate, many of them are just hoping their votes will count and their voices will be heard.

Voters like Blake Deaton showed up at New Bethel Church in Germantown ready to cast his early vote, but he ran into one small problem.

"I applied for an absentee ballot for the general election in November as a full-time student in Knoxville and I guess they got it confused with this election so they had me marked as an absentee voter and they had already sent me the ballot whereas I was trying to vote in this election," said Blake Deaton.

So far, there have been a number of issues occurring at early voting polling locations.

Right now, the Shelby County Election Commission says it is working to correct a problem involving early voting ballots after more than 1,000 voters were given the wrong ballot.

"I would think that if you got to the ballot and it wasn't what you were anticipating that you would say, 'Wait a minute. Am I in the right place?'" said Shelby County voter Jean Brooks.

But why are people still voting early despite problems with the ballots?

"I did talk to a friend. I said, 'Are you going to vote?' She says, 'Well, I'm going to wait until they get it straightened out.' Well, you wait until August 2, the line will be way down to there," Brooks demonstrated where the long line of people will wait on Election Day.

The complaints from voters include everything from confusion over the suburban school district vote to the redistricting debacle.

While problems at the polls mean you could end up with the wrong ballot, some voters are not worried.

"I read last week that there were some issues with the ballots but I think they've gotten most of that cleared up, so I felt pretty confident today," said voter Brad Pitts.

If you are presented with the wrong ballot when you vote, you can straighten it out with the election commission.

Early voting continues through Saturday.

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