Election Commission Administrator confident in early voting system

Election Commission Administrator confident in early voting system

(WMC-TV) -  Early voting is underway in Shelby County, and Rich Holden, Election Commission Administrator, is hoping things will run smoothly.

During August early voting, 32,000 voters had the wrong ballot. This lead to two lawsuits and  three day Holden's suspension.
In his first on camera interview since the problems arose, Holden says everyone will get the right ballot this election cycle and that you can trust the system.

"I think everybody should feel confident," said Holden.

"Part of the job is saying the buck stops here and the buck stops here for getting the job right or when it isn't right," he said.  

While Holden took some responsibility for the debacle, when asked if he could turn back time, he implied blame on the County Commission - for missing the deadline to approve redistricting maps.

"If I were king and could turn back the clock and make it happen, I would make sure all 95 counties had completed the redistricting process by January first," he said.

State auditor T Deputy Director Dennis Boyce, who's in charge of voter registration, was also held accountable for August's problems in addition to Holden.

In 2010, then Election Commission chairman Bill Giannini blamed Boyce for a glitch affecting 5,000 voters.

"The problem that occurred was committed by one individual," said former Election Commission Chairman Bill Giannini.

Holden mentioned Boyce is a civil servant.

There's no benefit to folks pointing fingers and worry about what happened in the past. What we need to do is create success going forward," said Holden.

Holden said state auditors have completed their investigation and from this day forward, the Election Commission is looking forward.

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