DA Mulroy, voters advocate for hand-marked paper ballots ahead of mid-term elections

Published: Oct. 16, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Voters from Shelby County and neighboring areas joined forces on Sunday, rallying for hand-marked paper ballots ahead of the mid-term elections.

When early voting begins Oct. 19, Shelby County voters will be using the county’s newest voting machines when they head to the polls.

But over the weekend, a bipartisan group was seen urging people to use paper ballots over the machines to create more election integrity.

“You got the power people, it’s in your hand. You’re stronger than a machine, get your will together, do what is needed to be done,” said Jimmie Franklin with Campaign for Liberty.

It’s a message voters on both sides of the Isle say they can agree on.

“We talk about conservatives and liberals, these are all good Americans here who believe in stronger Republican, stronger Democratic values for all of us,” said State Rep. Dwayne Thompson of District 96.

Shelly Cheng with Conservative Women of Collierville says because this election will be the first time voters can choose a paper ballot, and they are urging folks to use that option.

“We’re asking people like you to do this. We are asking you to use the hand-marked paper ballots because we want to show the election commission that we are interested in having more conversations about this... and to not just go with the electronic devices,” Cheng said.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy supports paper ballots, saying a hand-marked paper ballot system isn’t subject to hacking or glitching.

“Not only is it more reliable, it is also more subject to public confidence in the integrity of the election, which is its own value,” Mulroy said.

Mulroy says paper ballots have been sorely tested in Shelby County, even during his own election back in August.

“They did not publish the tally tapes out in the precincts, in many of the precincts. They brought in it for central tabulation, which had never been done in the history of Shelby County before, compounding the lack of public trust,” Mulroy said. “What we can do to restore that public trust is use hand-marked paper ballots as much as possible.”

His message to the public is to get out and vote — and use a paper ballot when making your choice.

“To the election commission, please make sure that every voter is given the explicit choice to have a hand-marked paper ballot. Do not steer them towards the machines just because it’s easy and that’s what you’re used to. Make sure every voter is informed they can choose a hand-marked paper ballot,” Mulroy said.

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