On Thurs., Sept. 24, Tennessee State Rep. Yusuf Hakeem sent a letter to Secretary of State Tre Hargett asking for an investigation of the Hamilton County Election Commission.
Shortly after, Hakeem hosted a press conference to address concerns he said his constituents made. Watch the press conference here.
After hearing concerns from citizens within the past 10 days, Hakeem is asking Hargett to investigate alleged voter suppression in Hamilton County.
The concerns, according to Hakeem
- Hiring — alleged discriminatory hiring practices for both permanent + part-time employees
- Operations — because of the alleged discriminatory hiring practices, office operations reflect a lack of diversity in both race and party affiliation. Hakeem also alleged voter suppression saying persons in the office provided misinformation to voters.
- Adequate funding — there are concerns from citizens that there is not sufficient funding to safeguard a free + fair election.
Secretary of State Hargett’s response
- Hiring — The Hamilton County Election Commission has 37 Republican officers of election, 33 Democratic officers of election, and two nonpartisan officers of election. In percentages, that’s 50%, 44%, and 6%.
- Operations — Hargett said the Hamilton County Election Commission would appreciate Hakeem’s support in recruiting Election Day poll officials.
- Funding — The Hamilton County Election Commission is “properly funded + continues to receive the necessary support from the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.”
Hargett also said he would be sending a letter back to Hakeem. However, he did not specify when.
What does this mean for voters?
Nothing yet. A spokesperson for Sec. Hargett did not respond to request for comment by deadline.
Hakeem’s spokesperson said that he doesn’t consider the matter resolved, and that the number of complaints Hakeem has gotten doesn’t quite match up with the statement. The spokesperson also said that Hakeem is considering what the next steps in the process should be.
If you have concerns related to the upcoming election, you can contact your representative.