It’s a big week for Memphis! Election Day is this Thursday, October 3.

State law prescribes that early and absentee voting results may not be released until all polls in the county are closed and every voter waiting in line has voted. In Shelby County, this means that early voting and absentee vote counts often cannot be released until after 8 o’clock. However, the definition of poll closure is interpreted differently across the state: other counties seem to release their early and absentee results at 7:01pm.

At the Shelby County Election Commission’s request, I asked Attorney General Herbert Slatery to clarify the appropriate time to release early and absentee election results. The Attorney General clarified that early and absentee voting ballots may not be totaled or released until all polling places in the county are closed, and every voter has cast his vote.

Next year, Rep. John DeBerry and I plan to propose legislation to allow election commission counting boards to tabulate the results from early and absentee voting at any time on Election Day and begin releasing the results at 7:00 p.m., when the polls close.

What do you think? Do you think this bill is a good idea? Please click here to take my survey and share your thoughts with me or you can reply to this email.

As always, if I and my staff may be of service to you, please do not hesitate to call my office at 615-741-3036. It is an honor to serve as your state Senator.