Former Congressman files federal class action lawsuit
by: Amanda Hill Bond, Publisher
Former Congressman Lincoln Davis has filed a federal class action lawsuit against the State of Tennessee that includes Governor Bill Haslam, Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. The suit is asking that Tennessee officials restore the voting rights of citizens who were wrongfully purged from the list of eligible voters.
The lawsuit claims that Davis was unlawfully purged from the voter rolls and denied the right to vote during the presidential primary held Tuesday, March 6th at his voting precinct in Fentress County.
Davis, along with his wife, were told by election officials that they were no longer registered from voter rolls. Election officials stated that the state had received notice that they were registered in Pickett County, so they were purged.
According to Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) 2-2-105 and 2-2-106, "once properly registered to vote in Tennessee, a person remains permanently registered unless the election commission must remove the registration from its records as a result of acts that require purging a voter." Those acts to purge a Tennessee registered voter are: a request to purge by the voter, voter fails to notify election commission of name change for 90 days or more except by marriage, death of voter, confirmation that voter is convicted of infamous crime, written confirmation that voter has moved outside of county of registration or registered to vote in another jurisdiction, voter fails to respond to confirmation notice for voter registration update over a period of two consecutive regular November elections following the date notice was first sent.
In an interview Monday morning, Davis told the PRESS, "I received no notification from the state even letting me know I had been purged or was even at risk for being purged. This isn't a matter of blame, I just think that this issue must be corrected. There are around 70,000 Tennessee voters who have been purged since March 2009 and I want those voters who were improperly removed to be restored."
Mr. Davis said he has been a registered voter of Tennessee since 1964 and has voted in every subsequent election and had been voting in Fentress County since 1995.