On Friday, September 25th, Tennessee State Representative Yusuf Hakkem (D) held a live streaming conference to go into further detail about the allegations of voter suppression by the Hamilton County Election Commission and the requested investigation thereof.
Please see our previous article that includes his original statement:
In Hakkem’s opening statement, he explained “I have received, from citizens, a checklist of concerns that they have in regards to the operation of the Hamilton County Election Commission dealing with free and fair elections”.
“As a result of that, I sent a letter to Secretary of State Hargis asking that an investigation be undertaken. Some of things are in regards to hiring both permanent and part time persons and operations of the office,” Hakeem said.
“And is there adequate funding for the office of elections to carry out its duties and functions without putting a great difficulty on citizens ability to vote and their votes be cast and counted?,” Hakeem asked.
Hakeem went on to say, “There is concern, about what we might call voter suppression by some persons in the office. Maybe there is misinformation that’s not intentionally given but as a result I received some calls…”
“I have asked the Secretary of State to undertake an investigation which would have independent entities or persons involved because we want credibility and the ability to verify facts as they unfold in regards to this, ” Hakeem said.
Hakeem reiterated his previous statement that he wants this investigation to happen now and any needed changes implemented before the November election.
In response to a question posed by a Channel 3 news reporter, Hakkem said that these concerns are independent of the recent allegations made about the Administrator of Elections, who has taken a leave of absence.
Hakeem said that the concerns that have been raised are in regards to events that all happened this year and that he became aware of the situation in the last ten days.
Hakeem stated, “At this point in time, there needs to be some independent monitors or persons who have accountability on their minds to share information with us.”
A Channel 9 news reporter asked for some examples of voter suppression that have been reported to Hakeem.
Hakeem replied with, “A person will go to vote and they will find out that they are either not on the roles or they have moved and the information hasn’t been transferred appropriately. Polling sites, depending on the persons they are dealing with, as to how the interaction is between them, some people would get frustrated and leave.”
“One of the concerns I have that is not on there is are we going to need to have a monitor in polling stations as to how people conduct themselves?”, Hakeem asked.
In a statement aimed directly at constituents, Hakeem said, “Trouble won’t last always but we have to be determined in times of difficulty to do our part, to do what’s needed to ensure our form of government and that our votes are being counted and this is an opportunity to do it. What I’m trying to do is put a spotlight on it, to get the facts, to ensure that in Hamilton County all votes are counted.”
“I hope that the leadership both in the county and state see this as legitimate concerns that need to be addressed and not try to, in a sense fluff it off as nothing. I think that will happen, potentially, is that citizens will express themselves…and we are trying to avoid protests and things of that nature, ” Hakeem said in his closing statement.