VOL. 129 | NO. 232 | Thursday, November 27, 2014
Shelby County November Vote Certified
By Bill Dries
With a few adjustments and a legal question still to be decided in Nashville, the Shelby County Election Commission certified the last election of 2014 in Shelby County Monday, Nov. 24.
The results, audited by certified public accountants Watkins-Uiberall PLLC and Banks, Finley, White & Co., include new totals for the city of Memphis referendum on selling wine in food stores and the Memphis referendum on changes to the city charter provisions on the civil service system.
The new totals in the certified results include provisional votes on the measures cast in the Southwind section of Shelby County, which was annexed into the city of Memphis before the Nov. 4 Election Day.
(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)
There were 292 provisional ballots cast in the wine referendum and 272 in the civil service charter change.
The additional votes did not change the outcome of either proposal. Voters adopted both.
In the countywide vote totals in the six statewide contests on the November ballot – four state Constitutional amendments and the races for governor and U.S. Senate – there were 146 to 155 provisional votes in each race.
The Election Commission also included a certification Monday of the countywide results for Amendment 1 to the Tennessee Constitution, the amendment dealing with abortion.
State election officials certify the statewide results next month.
But still pending in Nashville federal court is a lawsuit seeking to challenge the standard that any amendment only passes when it gets a majority of the total number of votes cast statewide in the general election for Tennessee governor.
By that standard, all four amendments were approved in the statewide unofficial vote totals.
The lawsuit is a challenge specifically of Amendment 1.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including Rev. Kenneth Whalum Jr. of Memphis, argue that only election officials should count the votes of those who voted for governor who also voted on an amendment.
They cite an effort by those favoring Amendment 1 to urge supporters to not vote for governor to manipulate the vote.
A majority of those voting on Amendment 1 in Shelby County voted against it.
An initial hearing in U.S. District Court in Nashville is scheduled for Jan. 12.
Meanwhile, the certified results for Shelby County races show a high of 1,249 write-in votes in the general election state Senate District 31 race in which Republican incumbent Brian Kelsey was running unopposed.
Kelsey is the winner and no candidate declared in advance as a write-in candidate, which is the requirement for write-in votes to be tallied by candidate and count.
The 1,249 write-in votes made up 3 percent of the votes in the contest.
There were three statewide write-in candidates in the race for governor. One vote in Shelby County was cast for A. Darryl Haas, with the other two getting no votes in Shelby County. There were another 265 write-in votes for governor among undeclared contenders.
Erin Kent Magee, one of two declared write-in contenders in the U.S. Senate race, got one vote in Shelby County. The other declared write-in contender in the Senate contest got no votes in Shelby County. There were 317 other write-in votes locally for other citizens.