Felons Who Can’t Vote Reportedly Try to Register in Memphis

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The number of people filing voter registration applications has surged dramatically in Shelby County, yet county officials have deemed 55 percent of them invalid, according to The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

“A large share of the influx of voter registration applications has been duplicates of already-registered voters, incomplete applications, and applications from felons who can’t vote or are otherwise unable to be processed,” according to the paper.

Shelby County Election Commission Administrator of Elections Linda Phillips told the paper she typically gets 10,000 forms in a mid-year election cycle. Since August, though, her office has received 30,000 applications.

Members of I am a Voter and the Tennessee Black Voter Project have submitted thousands of voter registration applications, according to the paper.

“The Tennessee Black Voter Project has submitted the most – nearly 9,000, as of Friday,” the paper reported.

“The Tennessee Black Voter Project worked with five local organizations, including Rise Up North Memphis and Up the Vote 901, to ramp up voter registration this election cycle.”

The statewide organization, based in Nashville, had earlier announced plans to register 55,000 Tennessee voters before the Oct. 9 deadline.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) weighed in on the matter in a press release Friday, and he didn’t seem pleased about the situation.

“When an election commission tells you that the majority of voter registration applications it has received are invalid, that begs serious questions,” Cohen said.

“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.”

Cohen demanded county officials ensure all applications get processed before early voting begins on Oct. 17, according to his press release.

“What is the Commission doing, if anything, to inform eligible citizens, whose applications are incomplete, what is required for them to complete their applications?” Cohen asked.

“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?”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Thoughts to “Felons Who Can’t Vote Reportedly Try to Register in Memphis”

  1. […] As The Star reported this week, members of the Tennessee Black Voter Project worked with five local organizations, including Rise Up North Memphis and Up the Vote 901, to ramp up voter registration this election cycle. […]

  2. stephen sauber

    I thought all felons current or former were ineligible to vote.

  3. One Mans Opinion

    I am with Mr. Bumpus. I agree with something Cohen said also.

    “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?”

    I am interested to know if they are contacting these folks also. The fact that a felon’s rights that can be restored are not automatically restored is a disappointing. A felon has to produce the disposition for the felony, and the paperwork stating they have been released from probation and parole. This paperwork has to be provided to the county election commission anytime a felon moves counties. The government has no problem automatically removing their rights. I do not understand why people get so excited about making sure a person pays their “debt to society,” but is against a person being allowed to be clear after that person has paid their debt in full.

    1. Silence Dogood

      The government has no problem removing their voting rights BECAUSE these folks committed serious crimes. Like robbing a bank, molesting a child, repeated drunk driving, shooting a police officer, or selling crack to children. I do understand their life experience may make them a more informed voter in the realm of law enforcement, but not in a good way. To be convicted of a felony they have had to do something very, very bad. If they want to vote then they need to follow the rules (a great lesson for them) and file their applications without personal help. For instance, I wanted a CCW permit and I had to do lots of paperwork and classes and birth certificates. It took months. No personal help. My 2nd amendment right and should not really have to do that, but… it is the law. But I did it because it was important to me. Now if I meet a felon professionally I can defend myself. I guess it is too much to believe you are kidding, right?

      1. One Mans Opinion

        Having 29 grams of marijuana when you are 18 is a very, very bad? That is 3 grams more than the amount of sugar in a can of Coca-Cola, the serving size of Cheetos, and the average weight of four 9mm bullets. Even 1 gram of marijuana in a glass jar is a felony due to the weight of the container being included. Is it still very, very bad 20 years later when you are 38? And if there has been no more crimes committed since? Why would we not want everyone to participate in elections? Wouldn’t we have a more representative government? Tennessee is is at the bottom for voter participation.

        1. Silence Dogood

          How about we put you in charge of determining what a felony is? You could be the legislative, judicial, and executive branches all rolled into one easy package. Like Putin or Hitler or any other despotic dictator. Don’t bother trying to pull my heartstrings with your edgy “felon” stories about a good kid gone wrong and now a great citizen. Many folks worked really hard to set up this country and the laws of this state. How about we respect that work. And if it is a bad kid redeemed story let them apply the legal way and do the work needed. I feel certain if it mattered to them they will have already done so. And if you do not like it, move to another state, run for office, or convince an elected official to sponsor a bill righting this wrong. You do the work needed. And quit trying to find Democrat votes in the prisons, from ex-felons, and the cemeteries. We are onto that stunt.

  4. Jose Reva

    Welfare idiots. Get a job!

  5. Wolf Woman

    If felons who are eligible want to vote, it is their responsibility to take the necessary steps to have their voting rights restored. Rep. Cohen, however, represents the nanny party that believes the government should hold our hands through all processes and charge the costs to the law-abiding middle class.

    The Memphis swamp is no different from the D.C. swamp and swamp creatures lie, cheat and steal, and worse.

    1. One Mans Opinion

      The ability to vote is taken away with the push of a button. Why can it not be restored with the push of a button?

  6. John Bumpus

    “When an election commission tells you that the majority of voter registration applications it has received are invalid, that begs serious questions,” Cohen said.

    Well, what do you know? Cohen and I agree about something that he said (but I don’t think that Cohen and I mean the same thing). LOL

    As the story states, a large number of the voter registration applications have been duplicates of already registered voters. That sounds ‘par for the course’ for Memphis/Shelby County–you register multiple times and then you vote multiple times. Keep moving folks, nothing new to see here.

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