Election commission: Final provisional ballot count expected this week

The Provisional Counting Board (PCB) for the Shelby County Election Commission began counting provisional ballots Monday at the Operations Center on Nixon Drive.

The PCB meets once following every election, and is composed of two Democrats and two Republicans who review the ballots.

While SCEC staff has completed its review and research of the provisional ballots using its resources, several hundred of the ballots were referred to the Tennessee Department of Safety (TDS) for further review.

“If we are unable to locate voters’ names in our records, those names are sent to the TDS to determine whether those individuals registered to vote while applying for or renewing their driver’s licenses,” said Linda Phillips, administrator of elections for SCEC.

The original plan was to release results of the provisional ballots on Nov. 20. However, an SCEC spokesman revised that on Monday, saying the high number of names referred to TDHS for review meant that the final provisional ballot count would likely not be complete before the afternoon of Nov. 21.

Phillips said, “TDS review of the names requires that the file of each name on the list be opened individually to determine if the option to register to vote option was selected. It is a time-consuming process.”

Tennessee law requires that election results be certified by the Shelby County Election Commissioners by the third Monday following an election, which in this case falls on Nov. 26.