Henry County’s top election official has been subpoenaed to provide records in a federal lawsuit challenging a Tennessee election law.
DeLaina Green, county administrator of elections, told the Henry County Election Commission on Monday that she had been served the subpoena requesting voter registration information last month.
The case, brought by Tennessee State Conference of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Tennessee against Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, challenges a recent law involving voter drives.
Green said the law came into being after some voter drives turned in large numbers of voter application forms on or near the registration deadline.
That paperwork was often missing key pieces of information, such as signatures or Social Security numbers. Election administrators would have no choice but to add the names to voter registration roles. When that person showed up to vote, they would have to submit a provisional ballot, and the necessary information collected before the vote could be processed.
The contested law would impose criminal and civil penalties on organizations if voter applications are incomplete.
Green received the subpoena nearly a month ago. The document had no judge’s or clerk’s signatures, Green said, and she was not asked to sign any paperwork related to being served.
The document has 35 individual document request sections asking for a host of records from January 2012 to October 2019.
County Attorney Rob Whitfield said the county’s options include filing a motion to quash, which would make the subpoena invalid if approved, or attempt to comply.
In other items, the commission:
• Learned Henry County is one of five counties being sued by a Hardin County man attempting to get on the ballot in August’s 24th Judicial District chancellor’s race.
Ben Harmon is filing suit in order to run as an independent in the Aug. 6 election.
Harmon, who is the son of former Chancellor Ron Harmon, alleges he was given incorrect information about the deadline for filing his election paperwork by the Hardin County administrator of elections.
He has also filed suit against Hardin, Benton, Carroll and Decatur counties to have his name placed on the ballot.
“The best advice I can give to Henry County is to stay out of it,” Whitfield said. “We are not alleged to have done anything wrong. We’ll do whatever the court decides as far as putting him on the ballot.”
The lawsuit was filed in Hardin County Chancery Court, Green said.
• Approved two voting machine technicians for the coming elections.
Sam Camp will return as the Republican technician, while Mark Duncan will be the Democratic technician.
• Appointed deputies for early voting, nursing home voting and voting at the Henry County jail for the March presidential preference primary.