‘That can change the outcome of the race:’ Voting concerns grow as some Washington Co, Tenn. residents receive the wrong ballot

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JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — Some Washington County, Tennessee residents got the wrong ballot when casting their vote during the early voting period.

The issues were reported at voting locations in Gray and Jonesborough.

Washington County Administrator of Elections Maybell Stewart said this was a human error by the machine operators and there is nothing wrong with the ballots or machines themselves.

This mishap has raised concerns for some Washington County voters.

“If that happens very much that can change the outcome of the race,” said Rep. Phil Roe who was one of several people who received the wrong ballot in Washington County’s early voting.

“I went out to Gray to the fire station to vote on Saturday with my wife and we both voted, and as we were walking out she was mentioning who she voted for and I said, ‘Well they weren’t on my ballot,'” Roe explained. “So we turned around and went back in and said, ‘Look there was a mistake made here.'”

Roe received a ballot for the 6th House District instead of the 7th House District.

“It’s not fair to either of the four candidates who are running if this election is close because I clearly voted in the wrong district,” said Roe.

House District 7 Candidate, Rebecca Alexander, said this could impact all of the candidates.

“I don’t want this to happen to anyone,” she said. “I know I had someone running for school board that told me that they had people come out to say, ‘Hey, I got to vote for you and you’re not even in my district,’ and they said, ‘Wow, something weird is going on.'”

The ultimate impact could be on the voter if ballots are incorrect.

“They’re also not getting to vote for who they wanted to and who affects their district. So it’s two-sided that way,” said Alexander.

Alexander’s husband was one of the voters who received the wrong ballot but caught it before voting.

“There’s one thing that a billionaire and there’s one thing that a person whose a minimal means has in common and that’s a vote. they’re the same. it doesn’t matter and so that’s why we need to count those votes accurately,” said Roe.

Stewart declined to answer our questions Monday about the number of people who early voted Friday and Saturday and if there would be an investigation to determine how many other voters may have received the wrong ballot.

Early voting continues through August 1. Election day is August 6.

The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office said the Division of Elections is aware of the issue and has requested poll officials get additional training and more signage to be posted for voters.

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