Shelby County Election Commission Keeps Holden

By Bill Dries

For the second time since August, Shelby County Election Commissioners considered a motion by a Democratic election commissioners asking for the resignation of Election Administrator Richard Holden and for the second time voted down the motion in a party- line vote carried by the three-member Republican majority.

The vote at the Wednesday, Feb. 20, meeting of the group marked the end of Holden’s six-month probationary period the commission imposed after problems in the August 2012 elections.

The three Republican election commissioners said Holden is trying to resolve the problems which were also highlighted in an August report by the Tennessee Comptroller’s office after Tennessee Secretary of State requested a state probe into the August problems.

The two Democratic commissioners, however, said they remain unconvinced progress is being made in addressing the problem. They also noted election problems in the November 2012 elections.

Meanwhile, City Attorney Herman Morris sent the Election Commission a letter Wednesday saying the problems have “not improved over time.”

“To the contrary, the continuing lack of diligence to running an accurate election is extremely disconcerting in the face of recent election issues.”