200-plus votes cast for wrong races in Nashville, officials say.
“This is a real, genuine shock,” said Steve Fain, a longtime activist. “It is pretty outrageous to put our city in the middle of these kind of shenanigans.”
The races that have attracted national attention are those with the most voter turnout and potential for runoff campaigns: Mayor’s races in five ward races and two state Senate contests, according to state election officials.
Those races in particular are in close races, making it more likely that a challenger with enough votes to survive the runoff would garner enough support to keep a race in play.
State election officials have not called any of the races officially. The results will not be certified until after the election, said Tim Loeppke, executive director of the Elections & Voting Division of the Tennessee Elections Commission.
But he said his staff has conducted preliminary counts, and they’re expecting about 100 to 120 voters for each of the 15 races.
The five races where turnout could swing the results are Ward 2 Councilwoman Deanna Jones (D-3), Ward 2 Councilman Ron Stephens (D-3), Ward 1 Councilwomen Michelle Ficklin (D-2), Jackie Davis (D-3) and Diane Middleton (D-4).
The mayoral and the state Senate races are particularly competitive, said Chris Stewart, a local political consultant.
“Candidates just don’t have the resources to fight an uphill battle like they do in these races,” he said.
Stewart said he doesn’t have enough data to predict the turnout for any of the races yet, but said that he believes turnout will be high in a variety of races. Election officials have not released the number of voters for any of the races, but Stewart said turnout in Ward 1 should be “high and growing”
Jones said the race didn’t become a national story out of nowhere. Jones said she received calls from voters and candidates who were upset with her votes, and after she said she would not concede her race, other candidates in the race approached her.
Jones said the attention was “misplaced” because she won the election last month and she hadn’t resigned yet. She and her husband, who ran for the Ward