Mayor Herenton Wants Early Voting Stopped


Reported by: Dana Rebik

Last Update: 9/19 6:03 am


Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is demanding a halt to early voting.


In a statement released Tuesday, September 18, 2007, Herenton says, "Numerous calls from citizens have been received, primarily from the elderly, that when they cast their vote for their candidate, an alternate name appeared as their vote. It is my duty as mayor to ensure that the citizens of Memphis have a fair and equitable voting experience. A disproportionate amount of the calls were received from elderly citizens, and that disturbs me."


Herenton is asking the Shelby County Election Commission to stop all early voting and audit the computerized machines, but Commission Chair Myra Stiles says that's not going to happen.


"I did know that's what he's requesting, but we're comfortable with the fact that we tested those machines and there is nothing wrong with the way the machines are recording the votes. Apparently it's an issue of public education. If people press in the wrong area they're going to get the wrong result," says Stiles.


Stiles also says that voters have a chance to correct their vote on the screen before they submit it.


At 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 19, 2007, Mayor Herenton will hold a news conference at city hall. In order for early voting to be stopped, there must be a unanimous vote of the Shelby County Election Commission.


So far, 10,445 people had cast their ballots during early voting as of Tuesday, September 18, 2007.


We're told that number is high for this early in the election.


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