A former congressman said he and his wife were denied the right to vote last night in their Tennessee hometown after poll workers said he had been removed from the voting rolls. Lincoln Davis, a Democrat who served two terms, leaving office in 2011, told the The Nashville Tennessean:
“We walked in and they told me I was not a registered voter. I had been taken off the list,” said Davis, who served two terms representing the fourth congressional district of Tennessee, leaving office in 2011.
“These are people who I grew up with. I told them I live here. I went to school about 20 yards away.” [...]
“It’s always been this way and today, for some reason, they change it,” he said. “I had a sense inside of uneasiness when I was told that I was not allowed to vote. They didn’t offer me a provisional ballot, or anything, just told me I wasn’t registered.”
The Tennessee Department of State said it would conduct an investigation into the matter.
Like many states, Tennessee passed new voting restrictions last year, including a voter ID law. While that doesn’t appear to be the problem in Davis’ case, the incident highlights how voting restrictions, which are being heightened in statehouses across the country in a nominal attempt to crack down on voter fraud, can often ensnare legitimate voters. And while there few problems were reported with the new law in last night’s primary, there has nonetheless been a troubling pattern of the voter ID law in the state making it more difficult for citizens to vote.
In Ohio yesterday, an 86-year-old World War II veteran was denied the right to vote after his ID was rejected at the polls.