New election software to help with problems? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

New election software to help with problems?

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

A recent report was released saying that half of the provisional ballots filed in Tennessee were from Shelby County. Of those in the county, 90-percent were tossed out.

Election Administrator Richard Holden says they could have been tossed out because of a number of things, including people not registering to vote and then voting anyway, or casting ballots in the wrong precincts.

"It's all very complicated and trying to unravel the ball of spaghetti and point at one thing with the simple answer is unrealistic. You're running an election for half a million people, it's very complicated and there are a lot of moving parts," says Holden.

Some election commissioners say new voter registration software may help these problems.

"There may be some connection," says Election Commissioner George Monger, "I think there's some voter education requirement. I do believe when you file for voter registration in April and in November you still don't have a voter registration, so yes you went to the wrong precinct and filled out the wrong provisional ballot and it wasn't counted."

The new software would, first, convert the election commission's system from DOS to Windows.

It would also allow voters to scan their driver's license on Election Day instead of filling out paperwork to vote. The software's ability to connect with different databases also edges Shelby County closer to online voter registration; Holden says the county could see it in a year.

The commissioners also discussed if it was human error - lack of employees and lack of training - that led to problems like with the provisional ballots in previous elections.

The Shelby County Election Commission also discussed Holden's probation, which will be up in February. The commission placed Holden on a six-month probation, holding him accountable for recent election errors. 

Commissioner George Monger says he does not think Holden achieved any items on his action list that Holden was required to complete during his probation. Holden says this is Monger's opinion and Monger's opinion alone.

Holden's probation will be discussed at the committee meeting on Feb. 6.

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