After reading Matt Studd’s letter to the editor, I noticed that Mr. Studd failed to include in his letter the foundation of why the Election Commission unanimously decided to close Short Mountains voting precinct.
At the onset of the January 9th, 2012 Election Commission meeting, Mr. Studd repeatedly stated that the voters at Short Mountain were voting illegally and that this was discussed in detail at the November 2011 meeting. Mr. Studd also stated that this was left out of the November meeting minutes; however, Sue Patrick informed Mr. Studd that the voters at Short Mountain were not voting illegally and the Election Commission had not discussed this at the November meeting but had talked about Pleasant Ridge.
Mr. Studd kept on insisting this had been left out of the minutes and he wanted the people present at the January meeting to know this before they started any new business. Ms. Patrick as well as two other board members did not remember the conversation taking place. This was quite disturbing to me that a board member would want to change the minutes.
As I listened to Mr. Studd, it became apparent that something was amiss and a person only backtracks to uncover mistakes or cover their mistakes. The mistake made by the Cannon County Election Commission was obvious and Sue Patrick spoke out to that fact and stated that this needed more research and made the motion to put the vote back on the floor to restore voting at Short Mountain.
Matt Studd and Administrator Stan Dobson referred to T.C.A. codes during the meeting however, they neglect to read the two codes that were the most important T.C.A. § 2-3-101 and T.C.A. § 2-3-102.
The big picture in my opinion is incompetence. In the November 2011 meeting Chairman Lindbergh Dennis placed a map on a table and explained to the other commissioners by moving polling places and eliminating workers this would cut expenses the other commissioners approved the idea with a unanimous vote; however, there clearly was no research or thought put forth in this endeavor. In my opinion, if the Election Commission had done their research properly, no money would have been wasted because the 2nd district at Short Mountain was and is within the ½ mile limit of the boundary according to T.C.A. § 2-3-101(a).
I, as well as the others present at the meeting personally want to thank Sue Patrick, Jackie Gannon, and Louise Mayo for having the fortitude of accepting this mistake and taking the proper action to rectify the error.