Thousands can’t vote after being taken off state’s voter roll

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thousands of Tennesseans might not get to vote on Election Day because they were taken off the state’s voter roll.

The state purges voters who have moved, died, or if they’re convicted of a felony. The law that allows this is supposed to prevent voter fraud.

But some voters say the law is unfair, and the ACLU is siding with them. Stephanie Wheeler is one of those voters.

“You don’t find out until it’s too late,” said Wheeler. “I think they need to be a little different about it. I could register but I can’t vote this year.”

Wheeler says she moved last year and hasn’t voted since 2008. Therefore, she was purged.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

The Secretary of State’s office says they send out warning letters to voters who are about to be purged. If they don’t respond, they’re taken off the voter role.

Wheeler says she never got a letter.

“That could be because I moved, but I was purged in 2015,” she told News 2. “That should be plenty of time to get to me, but no, I never got anything.”

The ACLU wrote a letter to Secretary of State Tre Hargett Friday saying the state law violates voter’s rights. The organization wants purged voters like Wheeler to be able to cast provisional ballots.

The Secretary of State couldn’t comment on the letter.

However, numbers released from the state show from January to June of this year more than 75,000 voters were purged from the role.

Some were purged because they passed, others were convicted of a felony, but some are like Stephanie Wheeler.

The ACLU is asking purged voters to contact their office. Click here for information.