AP: State election coordinator’s memo served as basis for judge ouster resolution

Secretary of State Tre Hargett speaks with Rep. Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) before Gov. Bill Haslam’s final State of the State address on Jan. 29, 2018 in Nashville. (Photo credit: Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Election Coordinator Mark Goins helped lay the groundwork for a controversial resolution to oust a respected Nashville judge for a ruling to expand access to absentee voting during the pandemic, according to public records obtained by the AP’s Kimberlee Kruesi and Jonathan Mattise.

Goins sent a five-page memo outlining his complaints about Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle to Rep. Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro), the sponsor of the resolution that would gain as many as 67 cosponsors before it was killed in a House subcommittee last week. Goins said he wrote the memo at Rudd’s request about a month before the resolution was filed.

According to emails obtained by the AP, Rudd’s assistant sent a Jan. 20 email saying the lawmaker was “in need of verbiage and information for this resolution.” According to Goins’ memo:

“Chancellor Lyle issued numerous orders and expressed her opinion ranging from ordering ministerial checklists, destroying accurate election documents, using her specific language for instructions and websites, to challenging statutory language regarding voting fraud. The practical effect was she became the de facto Coordinator of Elections when it came to voting by-mail.”

Goins also took issue with Lyle’s “tone” during proceedings.

Lyle in June told Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office “shame on you” for taking matters into its own hands by modifying her absentee balloting order without first seeking approval from the court. Goins the previous week had told county election commissions to “hold off” on following Lyle’s order while his office revised application forms and sought a stay.

The state’s creation of a new category for voters unwilling to risk their health was criticized as sowing uncertainty about whether ballots would be counted if the decision is later overturned. While Lyle declined plaintiffs’ motion to impose sanctions for the unauthorized changes, she ordered the state to revise its forms to include concerns over COVID-19 among the existing qualifications for people too ill to vote in person. If her ruling isn’t followed, she warned, criminal contempt proceedings could follow.

“Chancellor publicly chastised defendants saying, ‘Shame on You’ and threatened criminal contempt,” Goins wrote. “However, Chancellor Lyle did not ‘shame’ or ‘threaten to hold in contempt’ the multiple plaintiffs who voted in-person even though they signed a verified complaint under oath in her court saying they did not want to risk their health by voting in-person and needed to vote by mail.”

Goins and Hargett promoted news coverage of the plaintiffs’ decisions to vote in person while the lawsuit was going on.

Read the full AP story here.

43 Responses to AP: State election coordinator’s memo served as basis for judge ouster resolution

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Impeach Ellen Hobbs Lyle.

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    We need a Secretary of State elected by the people, and an election coordinator elected by the people as well.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      To say noting of an Attorney General elected by the people, and primaries closed to those not members of the party whose primary it is, as well as runoffs so we aren’t electing people with 19% of the vote. . . . In short we need a top to bottom overhaul of our electoral system in Tennessee.

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        steve cates says:

        I agree.

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        Taxpayer #314 says:

        Amen, but the conservatives should get very little say so in the reforms because most of the damage we see now has been caused by the conservative republican hooligans that run the state at the moment.

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    Beatrice Shaw says:

    Democrats are the way–especially with the Pandemic, lack of empathy at the border and super rich Republicans trying to quash the vote of the average citizen. Domestic Terrorists need to be weeded out and proper election ballot monitoring instilled instead of gimmicks like photo IDs, ‘resolutions’ and the like attacking duly elected judges.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Buenos Tardes, Beatrice,

      Speaking of the border, how are those Spanish lessons coming? With the demented Big Guy’s “No Border” border security policy it is almost inevitable that sooner or later you will meet up with one of our newly arrived pre-Americans, even perhaps paid up members of MS-13, that are now streaming across the border so you want to be sure you have a good command of the language before that happens. I hear they have a rather brusque way of dealing with women. Apparently the “Me Too” movement hasn’t quite made its way south of the border.

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        Beatrice Shaw says:

        Really is hard to believe someone can share this Country with me and have such opposite feelings. Frightening, actually. Jan 6 might happen ALL Over the place I FEAR!!!!

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          James B. Garrett says:

          Beatrice, I share your comment when you say it is “Really hard to believe someone can share this Country with me and have such opposite feelings.” Be that as it may, let me ask you just how many ‘January 6th’ events have we, as a nation, had since January 6th? You certainly are not talking about the recent events on multiple occasions which happened in Portland, Oregon are you?

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            Beatrice Shaw says:

            9/11 and Jan 6

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            I think “9/11” occurred over a decade BEFORE “Jan. 6” so the answer to James’ question as to “. . . how many ‘January 6tj’ events have we. . .had since January 6?” that would be NONE! The fencing and those poor National Guard troops around the Capitol are simply expensive Democratic political theatre for the leftist rubes back home.

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          steve cates says:

          You are right, Beatrice. To see him speak in this way is beyond unbelievable. (And we ALL need to learn Spanish as this minority in our population is growing. Whites will soon NOT be in the majority and the sooner we learn to work with minorities, the better, especially for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren!!)

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            And it is “beyond unbelievable” that you regard it as “beyond unbelievable” that someone expresses his opposition to this country having an open border to unidentified foreigners streaming into this country with no rational plan as to what to do with them or what will become of them except to put them on the welfare rolls ASAP and devise a plan to make them voters ASAP. Mind you, you are not simply in favor of this mindless and obviously destructive “No Borders” border security policy, you regard it as “beyond unbelievable” that anyone can be opposed to this mindless policy and actually say so out loud.

            Perhaps Beatrice is right in being frightened. Where did you all learn to be such intolerant extremists in this tolerant democratic nation?

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            Taxpayer #314 says:

            Stuart tolerates all people unless you are black or brown or red or a woman or a foreigner! He has told us all straight up that he is “not one to tolerate diversity” and he writes exactly like that. He feels so superior to lowly people who believe in diversity, that is why he feels so at home in the conservative South. Mississippi might be a better fit for him with all that diversity but he has spent a small fortune of all his money supporting lowlife republicans in TN politics, it would be hard for him to leave now.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            It’s all so depressing. Notice that Taxpayer uses quotation marks to solemnly report that I have admitted that I am “. . .’not one to tolerate diversity'”. Now before anyone reads and takes what Taxpayer says seriously again please scroll down and read what I said at 2:36 pm today in the second paragraph of my reply.

            If Taxpayer was better at reading comprehension would he be such a doctrinaire leftist? Does Taxpayer know what quotation marks are supposed to signify? There teaching “Critical Race Theory” in government and even private schools today, are they teaching anything else, e.g. English Composition?

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            Bob says:

            Conservatives loved these people, what a facade with all this whoe is me. Remember cheap labor! Don’t have to worry about organized labor, health care or even if they get aid let alone safety on these work places. So Conservatives you all got your wish.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Bob, I think you are somehow conflating what are at best tepid conservatives and just as likely centrists shills of the Chamber of Commerce, NAM, Business Round Table with conservatives such as myself. Conservatives are and have always been immigration restrictionists unless they are beholden to the Chamber etc. for campaign contributions in which case they are deviating from mainstream conservatism.

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        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        There, there Beatrice, please don’t be frightened. You are an extremely left-wing individual but you are fortunate in that while in Tennessee people of your political philosophy are a tiny minority we conservatives are generally quite tolerant of those with whom we disagree. Just think of what life would be like if you were an extremely right-wing individual living in Manhattan, or Berkley – now that WOULD be frightening.

        This is a democracy Beatrice, and a rather diverse democracy at that. While I’m not one to celebrate diversity, I am quite tolerant of differences and I certainly don’t let differences frighten me. I know that leftists are used to conservatives being quiet and not making waves so it is somewhat surprising and even off putting when you come across a conservative who simply doesn’t meekly go along with the zeitgeist, but please Beatrice, don’t let that frighten you.

        “January 6” won’t happen again. As for “Portland” and “Seattle,” that’s happening every day. Perhaps you can tell your friends in those communities that they should begin to enforce the law because the anarchy there IS frightening.

        • Avatar
          Taxpayer #314 says:

          Stuart, I will stand on my words above. In your 2:36 PM post you state that you are “quite tolerant of differences” yet you still freely reel off the the popular racial terms such as “the Chinese Flu.” After yesterday’s events in Atlanta maybe you should rethink some of your frequent coded racists terms and postings on this site. Your subtle comments and code words do have consequences. Perhaps you really feel that you are not a racist but others may be truly frightened by your thoughts and postings.
          And for the record, if you really want to be a stickler about English Composition… it is THEY ARE, not, “There teaching Critical Race Theory…”

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Taxpayer, I think it would be a better use of your time if you tried to improve your reading comprehension rather than attempt to divine codes or secret messages in what you read. As to your reply, I have the following comments in order of appearance:

            1. The “Spanish Flu” and/or the “Chinese Flu” refers to the place, or supposed place, of origin of the virus causing an epidemic rather than to a race. This is especially true considering the fact that “Spanish” or “Chinese” refers to an ethnic or national group rather than a race so it only race baiters who want to make EVERYTHING possible about race who would misinterpret those words in that way.

            2. According to the latest information from the police “. . .yesterday’s events in Atlanta. . . .” were about the suspect having serious sexual problems rather than having anything to do about race much to the disappointment of race baiters for reasons explained in #1.

            3. Anyone who is frightened by someone’s “. . .thoughts and postings” on any forum such as this is, I’m sorry to say, suffering from a rather serious case of paranoia so I suggest Taxpayer if you really know anyone like that you encourage them to get psychiatric or psychological care ASAP.

            4. I have absolutely no interest in correcting anyone’s grammar or punctuation. I do, however, have every interest in correcting blatant misquotes of myself such as the one you made earlier, and misstatement of facts like your hoped for “racist” cause of the “events in Atlanta” that had no basis in fact.

            Taxpayer, expressing leftist political thoughts doesn’t seem to be your strong point. Perhaps there is another end of left-wing political activism that would be more suitable to your skill set. How about engaging in demonstrations for the Grievance Industry? All you have to do is hold a sign and shout mindless slogans. You might want to look into that.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Who says the Spanish flu originated in Spain? YOU??? It is just as likely it originated in the USA.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Indeed, that’s why I said “. . .or supposed place. . .” so it wasn’t me.

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            MARLE says:

            Or supposed place…..is that what China is as well?

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            No, China is “the place” Spain is “the supposed place.”

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            I’m sure everyone living in 1918 were Sure the virus started in Spain Thus the name “Spanish flu”. Plus it worked for the US Not to say it’s source was Kansas where it was first identified.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            As I recall the story, World War I was the first time wartime propaganda went into widespread use. By the end of World War I all of the waring countries had well oiled propaganda organizations so when the flu began to spread they had mechanisms to deny that the virus originated in their respective countries. On the other hand, Spain was one of the few major European countries that maintained its neutrality throughout the war so it was somewhat of a backwater without an efficient propaganda arm. As this pandemic spread the suspicion about its origin shifted from one country to another each skillfully denying that it was the source of the virus. When suspicion was finally cast on Spain it had no means effectively deny that it was the source so the charge that it was the source finally stuck.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Who are you kidding….you don’t “recall” any of that. You looked it up after my comment and regurgitated what you just read. At any rate it was the king of Spain who was the first noteworthy person diagnosed and that is why it was said to have possibly originated there.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            I don’t want to frighten you but whatever Taxpayer has, you’ve caught it. By “it” I mean thinking you know something that you can’t possibly know and not being wise enough to know that you can’t possibly know and being WRONG.

            Perhaps you should take a break from “On the Hill.” It seems to be having a bad effect on what I prefer to think is your otherwise cheery disposition.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Well did you look up the Spanish Flu just the other day or in the timeline of comments made in this post? YOU have the answer as to whether or not my “conjecture” is accurate or not.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            You really don’t want to get in the business of telling people who can or can’t (or who should consider taking a break or not) or a blog, not your own, do you?????? I am sure that more than one person (crude sometimes though they are) has not stooped to telling you to take a hike.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            MARLE, for such an outspoken lady you apparently are surprisingly sensitive so allow me to give you a good rule of thumb. In a social setting when someone begins a sentence with the words, “Perhaps you should” they are not TELLING you to do anything as in a command. What they are doing is offering you a suggestion, and indeed doing so in a rather tentative manner at that. This is especially true when it would be preposterous for the speaker/writer to be commanding the listener/reader to do something e.g. my telling anyone to not participate in the commentary on a blog that is not my own.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Perhaps you should shut up, Stuart.

            (See how that sounds like I am telling you to shut up).

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            So….I’ll say that even the most crude commenters on here don’t tell anyone that “PERHAPS” they should take a hike. Leave it to you Stuart.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Of course “shut-up” is in and of itself insulting, whereas “take a break” is not. The important point is that I am certainly not “. . .telling people who can or can’t. . . . ” participate in this blog. That would be a preposterous thing to do. Suggesting someone “take a break” because doing whatever they were doing was having some undesirable effect on the individual is not. In fact, it’s not even bad manners.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Again (exhaustingly often) you miss the point. The POINT Stuart was that the words PERHAPS you should……..conveys the opinion that you ought to. Whether it’s take a hike, shut up, go away or Whatever, “perhaps” doesn’t mitigate anything.

            Perhaps you should stop being so long winded, so ubiquitous, so………

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          And I repeat the answer, YOU’RE WRONG! Now since I wasn’t around to experience the Spanish Flu at the time I no doubt read the version I recounted yesterday sometime, somewhere in the past but the picture you painted of my feverishly looking it up yesterday so that I could put it in a post is, dare I say it again, WRONG!

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        MS-13 primarily Sell drugs to Americans who can’t seem to curb their appetite for hard illicit drugs. They also sell child prostitutes to Americans who can’t seem to curb their appetite for that either (and don’t have Epstein’s kind of money to buy private islands to entertain their millionaire friends with young adolescent fetishes).

        They DO kill people but mostly those in rival gangs wanting to work “the wrong side of the street”.

        Let’s be equally afraid and revulsed by the Americans and their insatiable appetite for the perverse. Why don’t we concentrate on cleaning That up????

        • Avatar
          Taxpayer #314 says:

          Stuart has this all figured out. He just knows that China is the place but Spain might not be but he is the one who will decide exactly what we should all know. He always has some long winded story about how he knows all this. Some people call it a diversion some just refer to it as nonsense. Stuart says it is history.

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Michigan Judge: Secretary of State Broke Law With Absentee-ballot Directive in 2020 Election

  • Avatar
    steve cates says:

    I agree.

    • Avatar
      steve cates says:

      PS: The second, “I agree.”, posted by me is a mistake. There should be some way to edit or remove comments like this made incorrectly.

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    Charles says:

    Hobbs did the right thing! Shame is correct.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Ever the looser, president trump said today that the republican party needs better leadership.

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