Shelby County Election Commissioners are going to court to settle a conflict over ranked-choice voting. The five-member commission voted unanimously Tuesday, Dec. 12, to file suit against the state election coordinator and the city of Memphis in Davidson County Chancery Court. The purpose is to get a ruling on whether the use of RCV via a 2008 city charter amendment is valid or if a September opinion from state election coordinator Mark Goins saying there can be no use of RCV is valid. The charter referendum is binding on the election commission and so is the legal opinion from Goins.
“I would just like clarity,” said county elections administrator Linda Phillips. “My nightmare scenario was to plan to do an election one way and then be told four months out to do it another way. I have no opinion on it. We administer elections according to the law and there is a conflict there.”
Attorney John Ryder, representing the election commission, said the legal action amounts to the election commission asking “Someone tell us what we can do.”