BARTLETT, TN (abc24.com) - "We're sorry." That's what the Shelby County Election Commission said to a Bartlett man who wasn't allowed to vote on the suburb's school referendum. "You're fired." That's what the election commission said to the poll worker who prevented him from voting.
Bartlett resident Lloyd Cornmesser showed up bright and early at the early voting site at Bethel Church in Bartlett on Monday. His goal was to vote 'Yes' for Bartlett to start its own school system. But when it came time to vote, Cornmesser was told he couldn't.
"We've taken his complaint seriously," said Robert Meyers, Chairman of the Shelby County Election Commission. "We have addressed it in a very serious way."
Meyers says the election commission addressed Cornmesser's complaint by firing the poll worker that told him he couldn't vote on the Bartlett schools referendum.
Lloyd Cornmesser says he is sorry the poll worker was fired. He accepts Meyer's apology but as he sees it, "That's like saying, 'sorry I ran over your dog,' but your dog is still dead… my rights have been destroyed."
Cornmesser, who already cast his ballot, says if Meyers is truly sorry he would allow him to recast his vote.
But, Meyers says, "Once they cast a ballot, they've voted and there's nothing we can do at that point."
Cornmesser says although he'll continue to fight for Bartlett to have its own school system, he's waving the white flag on his fight to vote for it.
"I can't change it so I'm prepared to live with it and move on."
Meyers says this was an isolated incident and mistakes like this shouldn't happen again.