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BULLETIN; Ballot Box Missing!

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In an astounding development, the Flyer has learned, ballot materials, including a ballot box to be used for "off-machine" purposes (certain write-in ballots and provisional ballots) and other election-day supplies, were checked out of the Shelby County Election Commission's operations center office at Shelby Farms Wednesday by an unauthorized individual.

The person, apparently impersonating an accredited precinct officer, may have presented forged credentials to retrieve the materials intended for use at a county precinct station in Thursday's election, according to sources. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is conducting an emergency investigation and has summoned Election Commission members and other commission personnel to the operations center.

A statement was released by commission chairman Greg Duckett, speaking for the body's Democrats, and Rich Holden, speaking for the Republicans, confirming that "the matter is under investigation by the TBI involving a [single] precinct. The matter will in no way affect the integrity of the election.”

The ballot box and other electon-day supplies, including the preinct roster, belonged to Precinct 49-1, a South Memhis box located at Alton Elementary School at 2020 Alton. Prince 49-1 is a majority black precinct with 843 voters.

Without specifying further, the two commissioners said certain additional steps were being taken "to insure the integrity of the election."

The Flyer will present follow-up information as it is learned at "Political Beat".

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