Polk County, Tennessee Vote “Buying” Alleged

An investigation into alleged vote buying is underway in Polk County, Tennessee, but District Attorney Steve Crump is not releasing any details until the investigation is complete. Members of the DA’s office and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) officials visited the county election office last week.

“We received a number of complaints about irregularities, and I asked the TBI to assist,” Crump said. He said they went to the election office to “do some initial fact-gathering.”

According to Crump, the number of complaints received led them to do that, but he would not say how many complaints or what kind of complaints there were. A report from the Chattanooga Times stated money and Xanax were offered for votes; Crump would not comment.

“In a situation where there is substantial interest, we do not want to do anything that will compromise the investigation,” Crump said.

The State Election Commission has not received any complaints regarding voter irregularities, but has received complaints about campaigning within the 100-foot boundary of the building. According to Mark Goins, State Coordinator of Elections, Steve Gaddis told them the boundary extends onto private property. Goins said the boundary where public property ends needed to be marked, and candidates needed to secure permission to be on private property. If individuals are not given such permission, they have to find a place to stand outside the marked boundary not on private property.

The only other issue reported to the state of Tennessee relates to the appointment of election officials from the Democrat party. Goins said the issue is whether or not the election commission is required to appoint election officials from a list that was not submitted timely by the Democrat party.