Shelby County Election Commission Delay Leaves Candidates Waiting

(Memphis) Hurry up and wait at the Shelby County Election Commission’s downtown office.

Germantown incumbent Judges Ray Clift and Bob Brannon expected to breeze in and pick up their petitions for re-election.

But first there were printer problems, then questions about whether they were supposed to file Friday.

“I think the hold-up in all of this was which election we were suppose to be in, right,” said Clift.

Their wait turned into almost an hour as workers tried to determine what election they were qualifying for.

“Since we are running in August we were correct that this is the day we pulled a petition,” said Brannon.

We asked him if Election Commission workers should have known who could file before January 3rd.

“We knew it. I can’t say what someone should have known, but you would reason they would have been able to figure it out,” said Brannon.

An election worker explained one problem.

“This morning at 8 Shelby County Government had printing problems. Nobody could print petitions out,” the worker yelled to the crowd gathering at the Election Commission Office.

She says the printer problems meant they had to do forms by hand and then had to catch up on the back-log.

Probate Judge Kathleen Gomes thought things would have been more organized.

“I am just frustrated. I have things to do in court. I have a bunch of people coming with me,” said Gomes.

It comes as the Election Commission is already under scrutiny for past irregularities and now a possible FBI probe.

The man on the hot seat, Election Commission Administrator Richard Holden, showed upĀ  and explained the glitches.

“It was a county IT issue, but they solved it, a minor inconvenience,” Holden told us.

He says overall things went well for a first day.

As far as we know, everyone did eventually get their petitions and those who didn’t still have until next month to file.

Still, after problems in past elections and even calls for Holden’s job, these are first day glitches you want to avoid.

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