Concerns about voter registrations and the security of electronic voting machines are looming over the upcoming election in Tennessee’s largest county. Two lawsuits have been filed in connection with Tuesday’s pivotal election in Shelby County, the largest by population in Tennessee and the one that includes Memphis. Election officials there have pushed back against allegations of voter suppression and that they are not doing enough to protect the election process. Tennessee features a race for governor and a tight U.S. Senate race between Republican Marsha Blackburn, who served 16 years in the U.S. House, and Democrat Phil Bredesen, a former Tennessee governor. The Senate race is being closely watched nationally as Democrats try to flip the seat in a state with relatively low voter turnout.
A pair of related political groups, of BlackPAC and Black Progressive Action Coalition, has infused $3.4 million into the Senate race to turn out the black vote in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville. The efforts include direct mail, radio ads, door knocking, and phone calls.
… Another concern is related to the security of Shelby County’s electronic voting machines. Voting integrity advocates, led by former Memphis City Council member and Democrat attorney Carol Chumney, asked a federal judge to force the Election Commission to perform rigorous security checks on its voting systems, including having the U.S. Department of Homeland Security perform risk and vulnerability assessments.