With an event dubbed “Our Country, Our Future,” former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen’s senatorial campaign tapped the energy of two Grammy Award-winners at the Orpheum Theatre on Monday night.
Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr., Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and a host of other elected officials and supporters joined Bredesen for the campaign event, which featured Keb’ Mo’ and Memphis’ own Kirk Whalum.
Bredesen is in a pitched battle with U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to fill the senate seat being vacated by Republican Bob Corker. Blackburn also campaigned in Monday in West Tennessee. Her event in Munford on Monday included the presence of President Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump.
Early voting is underway and continues through Nov. 1. Tennessee Democratic officials are encouraging voters not to avoid the polls despite possible long delays and registration complications while trying to cast a ballot in the Nov. 6 election.
Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini and Shelby County Democratic Party Chair Corey Strong on Monday raised concerns about the condition of voting in Tennessee during a press conference in Memphis.
Specifically, Mancini said she’s worried long lines at early voting polling locations means county election commissions are not providing enough resources to ensure the public can easily and quickly vote.
Strong added election officials are not informing voters that changing the font on the voting machines sometimes results in Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean’s name appearing later on the ballot.
Both said election officials need to address the issues immediately.
According to representatives of the Tennessee Black Voter Project, mistakes committed by the Shelby County Election Commission could mean that many people the group signed up to vote could end up unable to vote.
In a move to boost voter participation, the Tennessee Black Voter Project submitted 35,000-plus signed registration forms ahead of the Oct. 9 deadline
A spokesman for the election commission has said a “majority” of those forms had problems. An agreement with the Election Commission allows the Tennessee Black Voter Project to examine the forms that the commission has said are flawed. As that review continues, the group is pushing for the Election Commission to make fixes before the Nov. 6 election, contending federal and state laws are being violated.
Meanwhile at Bredesen’s campaign event at the Orpheum, saxophonist-songwriter Whalum blended a pitch for the Democrats into the concert that had him sharing the stage with Keb’ Mo’ – 4-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter.
Check out a snippet of the duo.
(This story reflects accounts from the Associated Press.)