Sunday, Shelby County Elections Administrator, Linda Phillips sent out a report of provisional ballots in the November 2018 election.
The report shows how voters issued provisional ballots voted in the election.
To date, Shelby County has approved 999 provisional ballots in the November 2018 election.
The tally of these votes are interesting in a couple of ways, even though they don’t ultimately alter any results of the election.
Democrats Overwhelmingly Won Provisionals
In state elections, Democrats overwhelmingly won the provisional count, even in districts that were overwhelmingly Republican.
Below are the provisional counts added to the TN Governor race. The additions don’t really change the outcome, but it shows that provisionals outpaced other ballots.
|TN Governor||Initial Count||%||Provisional Count||%||Total||%|
This trend held true in a more hotly contested race. The TN Senate District 31 was, perhaps, the closest state legislative race in Shelby County. While the addition of provisional ballots didn’t bridge the gap for Salinas, it did narrow it somewhat.
|TN Senate 31||Initial Count||%||Provisional Count||%||Total||%|
Generally, this trend held true for other races that featured Democratic candidates taking on long-time GOP strongholds.
Interesting Deviation in Referendums
While most of the provisional votes broke down as expected, one area did show an unexpected split: the three City of Memphis referendums.
Here are the breakdowns:
|5676 – Term Limits||Initial Count||%||Provisional Count||%||Total||%|
|5669 – Instant Runoff Voting||Initial Count||%||Provisional Count||%||Total||%|
|5677 – Ending Runoffs||Initial Count||%||Provisional Count||%||Total||%|
There are two really interesting items in these results:
- Provisional voters generally broke with the initial count on two of the three ballot issues.
- While IRV didn’t do as well with provisional voters, it was the only issue defeated by those voters.
Looks to me like people really want IRV.
Of course, there’s no way to know what impact the City Council’s last second $40,000 cash infusion for the passage of these three ballot issues.
Regardless of the outcome, the City Council should absolutely disclose what money was spent, and with whom.
A Note About Provisional Ballots
Provisional ballots are given to: voters whose identity cannot be confirmed (no appropriate ID), voters who believe they are registered but cannot be found on the voter rolls, or have both issues.
All three types of provisional ballots go to a Provisional Counting Board. That board approves or rejects the ballots based on meeting ID or registration requirements.
The count of provisional ballots will be included in the final election results when the vote is certified. The Shelby County Election Commission is meeting tonight, November 26th at 4pm. It is unknown if they will certify the election tonight. As of this writing, they have not published an agenda for this evening’s meeting.