Man says info about him in voter database is wrong - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Man says info about him in voter database is wrong

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - An Alabama man says information about him in Shelby County's voter registration database is wrong, and should not even be there.

Gilbert DeLaGarza is one of dozens of voters in the database whose birth date is listed wrong.  The database says he was born in 1901.

Tuesday, by telephone from his home in Alabama, DeLaGarza said the database's information is not accurate.

"Unless I'm Gilbert Buttons, and I don't think I am," he said.

A friend forwarded DeLaGarza an Action News 5 story from Monday, where we tried to find out if he is really 107-years-old.
"First I thought it was funny," he said. "Then I thought, 'Did someone vote using my name?'"

DeLaGarza didn't think he'd still be in Shelby County's database, since he now lives in Alabama, where he's voted in two elections.

"(I) moved to Alabama in May of 2007," he said. "Registered that month."

Nevertheless, DeLaGarza is still listed as an active voter in Shelby County.  Brook Thompson, Tennessee's Coordinator of Elections, says it's up to the state of Alabama to notify Shelby County when a voter changes registration.

"Unless we get some notification, we can't know that," she said.

But, even if the state of Alabama did notify the Shelby County Election Commission that the 37-year-old DeLaGarza moved, the Commission's records for a DeLaGarza born in 1901 wouldn't match, and therefore he would not have been purged.

Thompson says it is important for the Shelby County Election Commission to clean up its data base.

"They need to use whatever is at their disposal to try to correct their problem," she said.

According to Thompson, considering the number of voters in Shelby County, having four dozen with birth dates in the 1800's isn't alarming - but those are only the obvious errors.

Despite DeLaGarza's active voter status, there was not a ballot cast in his name in the November election.

Click here to send an email to Lori Brown.

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