Congressman Cohen Seeks Answers from Shelby County Election Commission

October 11, 2018
Press Release
Follows Commission claim that 55 percent of voter registration applications are invalid


WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen late yesterday sent a letter to the Shelby County Election Commission about its procedures for processing applications following the Commission’s assertion that 55 percent of the voter applications it had received were invalid. Congressman Cohen is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Voting Rights Act. A copy of the letter can be found here. 

“When an election commission tells you that the majority of voter registration applications it has received are invalid, that begs serious questions,” said Congressman Cohen.  “Our nation has an ugly history of voter suppression, especially when it comes to African American voters, and we need to ensure that voting rights are protected.  Mindful of what’s going on in Georgia, where 53,000 registration applications are being held up – 70 percent of which are from African Americans  -- we must ensure that no Tennessean’s right to vote is compromised.” 

Specifically, Congressman Cohen asked the Commission: 

  • What is the Commission doing to ensure that all applications are processed before early voting begins on October 17, 2018? 
  • What is the Commission doing, if anything, to inform eligible citizens, whose applications are incomplete, what is required for them to complete their applications? 
  • What is the Commission doing, if anything, to inform felons who have filed applications to vote, and who are eligible to have their voting rights restored, what is required for them restore their voting rights and complete an application to vote?