The Williamson County Election Commission has referred materials related to an investigation into a report that seemed to show at least two Democrats – both of whom are currently running for elected office – voted in the Republican primary to the District Attorney for further investigation and possible prosecution.
State law requires that in order to vote in a party primary, the voter must be a “bona fide member” of that party or “declare allegiance to the political party.”
“It is unlikely that a current Democratic candidate for office would meet either of those requirements,” the Williamson Country Republican Party said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
The Party’s Chair, Debbie Deaver added, “It appears likely two Democratic candidates for office have committed voter fraud, so I’m pleased to see the Election Commission refer this very serious matter to the District Attorney’s office.”
The statement continues:
Since the beginning of early voting through Tuesday, April 24, 2018, a total of 651 people who voted in the March 2016 Democratic presidential preference primary have cast early voting ballots in the current May 2018 Williamson County primary elections. Of those 651 people who voted in the 2016 Democratic primary, 344 of them voted in this year’s Republican primary, while only 307 of them voted in this year’s Democratic primary.
TCA 2-7-115(b) states that a registered voter is entitled to vote in a primary election for offices for which the voter is qualified to vote at the polling place where the voter is registered if:
(1) The voter is a bona fide member of and affiliated with the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote; or
(2) At the time the voter seeks to vote, the voter declares allegiance to the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote and states that the voter intends to affiliate with that party.
As previously reported by The Tennessee Star:
Bill Peach (pictured, right) has run previously for the State House as a Democrat against Jeremy Durham and failed to get 30% of the vote in 2014. He is a candidate again, running for the Democratic Party nomination to oppose Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin) in the 61st House District in November. Last week he voted in the Republican Primary for the May 1 county elections.
Anne McGraw (pictured, middle) is also a Democratic Party candidate and is on the ballot for the May 1 primary election for the office of County Commission. However, like Peach, she voted in the Republican primary last week – choosing to not even vote in the Democratic Primary for herself.
“It’s disingenuous to allow someone to select a candidate for a party they don’t identify with and who they will not vote for in the general election,” Deaver said. “Just like Alabama doesn’t let Tennessee pick its head coach, and Apple doesn’t have the board of Microsoft select its CEO, we should not let non-Republicans pick our nominees. It’s past time to close Tennessee’s primaries.”