Shelby County Democrats file lawsuit against Shelby County Election Commission

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. —Shelby County’s Democratic party filed a lawsuit late Friday afternoon against the Shelby County Election Commission.

The party is fighting back after the commission initially planned to offer only one early voting precinct for the first 4 days.

The lawsuit alleges the County Election Commission violated open meetings laws by making these plans to change the location in secret.

The commission just announced last week the agricenter would be the only location for the first 4 days.

They came under fire for that since it can take hours for people to use buses to get there at its East Memphis location.

Then the commission offered a compromise to open 3 locations one at their headquarters near the agricenter. Another, the choice of Republicans, the third the choice of Democrats.

That means there will be a location in East Memphis, one in Germantown and one in Whitehaven.

Shelby County Democratic Party member Corey Strong said the commission isn't doing their job.

"Our Shelby County Election Commission has an opportunity to lead the way in the state for voting. Right now they’re not doing it. They’re trying to come up with a number of excuses.  So we want to get into the decision-making process to figure it out but we also want some relief for the voters who were disenfranchised," Strong said.

Both sides of this lawsuit tell me they expect the first hearing to go before a judge on Monday here in chancery court downtown.

The democratic party would be hoping for a favorable ruling before early voting. Which is set to start next Friday.

I spoke with the Election Commission Chairman Robert Meyers he said it’s absolutely not true they violated the open meetings act, but he’s still digesting the lawsuit.

Meyers does plan to be in court Monday.

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