MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Shelby County’s Election Commission is firing back at claims it committed voter fraud. A blog claimed hundreds of people had their voting records altered or erased. Then 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen joined the fray. He's calling for a federal investigation into the matter.
If those voters' records were altered then they will not be able to vote in the November election. One of the most prominent names among the nearly 500 voters in question is Ed Ford Sr.
The election commission says the claims are bogus and baseless.
“You can figure out exactly what he's doing. He's running for office, do you want paid media or free media?” asked Richard Holden, Administrator of Elections for the commission.
Holden sums up claims of voter fraud as a political ploy.
“Everybody's voter records still reflect their voting history accurately in our system and in the master database with the state,” Holden said.
The claims stem from a blogger's look at the Commission's "all details report."
In it, 488 voters’ records were missing.
“The appearance is that it's being done of African Americans almost exclusively, this is an issue of the United States Department of Justice to look into,” Congressman Steve Cohen said during a weekend press conference.
The Election Commission says the report causing the controversy is not used for any election, but its voter registration database is.
The commission checked several names in that database and says so far, all of the voters' records are there. We asked the Commission how it could be sure.
“Without looking at all 488 records, clearly you could not say without a doubt, but it seems quite obvious, logically from just common sense from looking at dozens of records,” Holden said.
Congressman Cohen isn't buying it.
“While they might have one set of books that they claim is complete although they haven't completed their study they have another set that they admit is wrong. There is no reason for the Election Commission to make these kinds of mistakes,” Cohen said.
We contacted the Department of Justice to find out if it would investigate the election commission. We did not get a response.
In the meantime, the Commission says it will check all 488 of the voters' records.