Tennessee State Representative Yusuf Hakeem (D) has requested an investigation into the Hamilton County Election Commission in a letter to Secretary of State, Tre Hargett (R).
In the letter to the Secretary of State, Hakeem stated that voters have contacted him with a “laundry list of concerns” accusing the Election Commission of practices leading to voter suppression.
The letter goes on to outline allegations of discriminatory hiring practices of workers both in the Commission office and at the precinct level resulting in a lack of racial and political diversity.
Hakeem also stated that there are concerns about insufficient funding for the Hamilton County Election Commission.
Hakeem, who is a member of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators, expressed his “anguish and concern” that the county election office is “becoming a petri dish for undermining the fundamental right to free and fair elections.”
In addition to asking the Secretary of State’s office to investigate the allegations, Hakeem also requested that the NAACP and ACLU be involved in the investigation.
Hakeem states their involvement would “provide insight and assistance in order to add further credibility to the results.”
In the closing of the letter, Hakeem requests the investigation be started quickly and that changes be implemented before the November elections.
He stated, “The changes need to be done in the present to have an election we can trust and verify”.
Hakeem plans to hold a news conference Thursday , September 24th at 1 p.m. EST to give more specifics.
Read our follow-up story here, covering the press conference: