Williamson County Election Commission sues Brentwood over early voting request

Monday, January 9, 2012 at 1:48pm
Staff reports

The Williamson County Election Commission, along with state officials, are suing the city of Brentwood for allegedly denying a request to hold early voting at the library.

The election commission sent an “official notice” to the Brentwood City Library in November declaring that the presidential preference primary and local Republican primary would be held at the facility from Feb. 22 to 28.

But Brentwood denied that notice, prompting the state and the election commission to file suit Friday afternoon. The state claims Brentwood is violating state law by denying the early voting request.

“When a county election commission applies for the use of space in a public building for the use of holding elections, the authority controlling that building is required to make space available pursuant to (state law),” the lawsuit states.

Brentwood City Manager Michael Walker said in a letter to Williamson County Administrator of Elections Ann Beard that there was “lack of available space due to previous commitments to community groups in Brentwood.”

He also said the elections would have an “adverse impact” on programs and the parking situation at the library. In addition, Walker offers up the county’s Indoor Sports Center as a viable alternative to the library.

In a press release posted on the city of Brentwood’s website, the city calls the Election Commission’s actions “without question, a heavy-handed abuse of power.”

“The Election Commission maintains that it has a legal right to unilaterally assume control of space at the Library or any other public facility for its purposes,” the release stated.

“The City of Brentwood strongly disagrees with the Election Commission’s interpretation of state law in this regard, and believes that the aggressive approach taken by the Election Commission’s Chairman in this matter reflects badly on the Election Commission.”

The Williamson County Election Commission authorized the legal action against the city at a meeting on Dec. 15.

The lawsuit asks the Williamson County Chancery Court for an expedited hearing, given that the early voting period was only 47 days away at the time of filing.

4 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 1/9/12 at 1:44

Let me get this straight, the GOP wants early voting where they want it, and where they wan it, but they deny some to vote because of Voter ID, and they have cut out some early voting and places in the General Election. Your horns are showing!

By: govskeptic on 1/9/12 at 6:16

I think I have this part straight. If the Republicans want to do anything "pswindle'
is against it. The poor fellow or lady sees horns every time they see the initials
GOP. I suppose the Library Board in Brentwood doesn't need any state grants
or help with the funding of their library.
This story also sounds like a law firm needing a little extra work, shouldn't
that be a story in and of itself!

By: Rocket99 on 1/10/12 at 7:28

The Election Commission wants the Library. The city offered up the Indoor Sports Center. Apparently, the Election Commission doesn't like the Indoor Sports Center and is demanding the Library. Sounds like a spoiled child to me. But wait. The Library knew the primary was coming. Did they book space to purposly block the early voting location? And by the way pswindle, this has nothing to do with Repubs vs Dems. This is just an election. Just so happens that this time around, the Repubs are the ones needing the primary. So, better look elsewhere for those "horns".

By: leonardoverse on 4/12/12 at 10:08

The election commission has nothing to do with the GOP boys and girls. They are a neutral entity that coordinates elections. Try calling them and find out for yourselves.