MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Investigators from the state are in Memphis looking into all the problems in the August 2nd election. Elections Administrator Rich Holden just sent a letter to the state explaining what happened, but the chairman of the Shelby County Election Commission says that letter represents Holden's opinion, not the board's.
The election was a mess. There were wrong ballots, wrong locations, and wrong information.
Holden sent a four page letter to Mark Goins, the State Coordinator of Elections, trying to answer questions about what happened. These were his words, not the words of the Election Commission.
Commission Chairman Robert Meyers said it explains how complicated things were this year. "I think it also expresses the fact that this isn't something that snuck up on Mr. Holden or the Election Commission. They had been working on it for sometime," he said.
In his letter, Holden says he did everything he could to try and make things work. His staff was inexperienced, and that's not all.
Now the state elections folks have been told that one big problem was the Shelby County Commission was supposed to have a new commission voting districts plan done by December of last year. It wasn't. In fact, they're still fighting over it.
Meyers doesn't agree with Holden on putting much of the blame on the Shelby County Commissioners. "I think it's too simple an answer. I think its one of a number of factors that contributed to it."
The Holden letter talks of all the changes from the state down to the local level that happened this year. It made putting election plans together difficult.
The problem is, every county in the state had to deal with these issues, and did. The big problems were only in Shelby County.
Meyers has his own idea of what happened. "I think there are some internal communication issues, maybe some internal personnel issues that we'll have to work through."
Meyers says the bottom line is the November elections must be trouble free or all elections officials could be in trouble.