Lincoln Davis, Former Congressman, Denied Right To Vote

Former Congressman Denied Right To Vote

A former U.S. congressman was reportedly denied the right to vote in Tennessee's primary on Tuesday night.

Lincoln Davis, who served two terms for Tennessee, told the Tennessean that "they told me I was not a registered voter. I had been taken off the list ... They didn’t offer me a provisional ballot, or anything, just told me I wasn’t registered.”

A county administrator said he was told that Davis was registered in another county, according to the paper, though Davis maintains that he has been voting in the same town for nearly two decades.

The Tennessee Department of State said it conducted an investigation to find out what happened.

"Mr. Davis appeared on voter registration rolls in both Fentress and Pickett counties, which led to him being purged from the Fentress roll," spokesman Blake Fontenay told The Huffington Post in an email. Fontenay said that the double registration was due to a clerical error stemming from the fact that Davis has homes in both counties.

Fontenay added that officials contacted Davis after learning about the incident and suggested that he cast a provisional ballot. However, he said that Davis should have been offered one on the spot.

"In dealing with millions of voters it is understandable errors may occur," he said. "However, we offer a sincere apology to Rep. Davis."

Davis' predicament comes amid a national controversy over new voter ID laws adopted by many states. Critics of the laws charge that they make it harder for people to vote and disenfranchise certain groups -- like minorities, college students and the poor -- while supporters of the laws say they help prevent voter fraud.

This story has been updated to include an explanation from the Tennessee Department of State as to why Lincoln Davis was denied the right to vote.

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