At one point during the Wednesday, Feb. 20, meeting of the Shelby County Election Commission, chairman Robert Meyers interrupted a detailed and lengthy lecture by election commissioner George Monger by saying, “I object to the leading question.” It drew the only laughs during the three-hour session that marked the end of election administrator Richard Holden’s probationary period. Monger made public records requests to assemble a chain of emails between Holden and his staff as they tracked down the source of problems in the November elections. The particular problem Monger tracked involved voters in one split city-county precinct being given the wrong ballots because their addresses were listed incorrectly as in the county outside Memphis when they were in the city of Memphis. Monger’s specific point was that Holden instructed the staff to delete a report in its summary to election commissioners.
The details in the report on the address problems in the Ross-01 precinct were part of the basis for a letter Wednesday to the election commission from City Attorney Herman Morris.
“The breadth of this error is still unknown to us,” Morris wrote. “What we do know is that it is unacceptable and we still await a full explanation and report on the number of incorrect ballots in the city’s November election.”
Morris also complained that after Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration specifically complained about the problems on the Nov. 6 Election Day, “our staff had to appear at a public meeting and specifically ask for information to obtain any.”