A woman who died nearly two weeks before Election Day was re-elected by Tennessee Democrats anyway.
Tennessse state Rep. Barbara Cooper died on Oct. 25 at the age of 93. (WATN insisted on calling her death “unexpected,” but, come on. I don’t mean to be either flippant nor unkind … but she was 93.)
Probably due in large part to early voting combined with name recognition, Cooper beat out her opponent, independent Michael Porter, 7,999 votes to 2,942, according to WHBQ.
Cooper had represented the 86th state House district for 26 years, according to WSMV, so there were undoubtedly people who voted for her on Election Day, unaware of her passing.
In Tennessee, voters can vote by mail if they have a “statutory reason.” Those reasons include age, absence from the country, jury duty, physical disability, and so forth, according to the Tennessee secretary of state’s website.
However, you can also vote early for no reason at all, typically up to 20 days prior to the election, “purely for the sake of convenience.” Early voting this year began on Oct. 19, six days before Cooper’s untimely demise.
There is probably no way ever to know how many of the ballots cast in this race were wasted — submitted prior to Oct. 25 “purely for the sake of convenience,” or cast on Election Day itself by voters who didn’t know better because Cooper’s name remained on the ballot — as opposed to cast by people who simply didn’t want Porter to represent them in the state legislature, or perhaps even in honor of Cooper’s 26 years of government service.
The Shelby County Election Commission told WATN that Cooper’s name remained on the Shelby County ballot “as mandated by state law.”
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my longtime colleague and dear friend, Barbara Cooper,” House Minority Leader Karen Camper told WSMV. “She was a warrior for her community and the City of Memphis, a tireless advocate on education and equality issues, and just a delightful person.
“We will all miss her,” she added.
Since Cooper obviously cannot serve, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will now have to issue a Writ of Election to set the date for a special election to fill her seat.
It’s hard to see how anything could have been done differently in this particular situation. With only a couple of weeks between her death and Election Day, there was no reasonable way for a replacement candidate to have been named in time to mount a competitive campaign. Even if that weren’t the case, there may not even have been time to reprint the ballots.
But Cooper’s sad passing highlights a potential issue with early voting under any circumstances — anyone who votes prior to Election Day has, almost by definition, less information with which to make his or decision than those who wait until Election Day.
We saw this play out — with unknown effect — in Pennsylvania, where many votes had already been cast prior to Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s disastrous debate performance. It’s impossible to know how many people would not have voted for Fetterman had they waited — either because they would have changed their minds and voted for another candidate, or because they decided simply not to vote at all.
In Tennessee House District 86, perhaps Cooper’s constituents who waited until Election Day to vote would have decided that Porter wasn’t such a bad option after all and cast their votes for him, which would at least have spared taxpayers the time and expense of holding a special election. That’s probably unlikely, but it’s certainly not impossible.
At least it would have given voters an option. Instead, many early voters ended up casting a ballot for a special election instead of for a candidate, without knowing — without any possibility that they could have known — that that’s what they were doing.
Instead, one of the absolute requirements for a functioning democracy — an informed electorate — has been eroded “purely for the sake of convenience.” Most arguments in favor of early voting (as opposed to absentee voting) are bad; that one’s almost critically so.
Why were people even electing a 93 year old to office?
Bought and paid for black entitlement Plantation slaves in the Democratic Plantation party had been lying, cheating, stealing, & destroying votes and every time & everywhere they are hired, because background checks for these poll workers are never initiated or considered a security requirement, because that’s how corrupt the black government Democrat Communists party have made the Black Culture , they work in all the polling places where there always happens to be massive voter fraud, maybe we need to start doing background checks on the people handling the American people’s ballots are treated like junk mail, because we know the party that are telling them to go apply for these positions are definitely corrupted liars who cannot win any election fairly without massive cheating, you think the idiot liars in Congress could figure that out, funny how many votes go missing or how many dead voters come to life and how many undocumented ballots there are in Black democrat Plantation districts, everything they touched turns to crap when the Democratic communist are bribing them with Obama’s cell phones or any other crap that they gladly sell their souls for, because they have no honor being in this country or being a part of it, they want to be the permanent Gov fake victim culture of America, so they keep reaping the fake victim benefits throughout our history, when other cultures long before them were enslaved around the world come here and have to work like animals to pay taxes to support these corrupt gov entitlement cultures who comes with here with both hands open & a corrupted government gladly pouring our money into greedy criminal anti-American anti-white racist Democrat communist voting cultures who can be easily brainwashed to vote for Democrat anti-American demons every time, as long as these conditioned programed cultures can get something out of it. just saying what everyone sees every election but cowards are afraid to speak the truth , that’s why things never change, they’re not addressing the real issue on who is doing the ballot Counting and what judges hearing the cases that are brought against corrupt polling places, also I look at the culture majority working these polls in all Democrat cities & i understand why all proof of voter fraud keeps getting rejected, and the Democrat Underdog obvious comes back from a massive loss of votes. This problem is far from fixed and real truth being exposed
How many “I told you so”s do Americans need to hear before we ban early voting and mail-in voting. Here again, the Republicans sat on their lazy butts while the Demoncrats enacted early voting and mail-in voting. It all centers down on the REPUBLICAN PARTY AGAIN.
We need a new party and throw out the Republican Party. The leadership and organization is horrible, lazy and worthless.
Absolutely…….No more mail in voting..except for REGISTERED VOTERS who REQUEST A MAIL IN BALLOT…..IN WRITING
If you want your vote to count, show up and vote ON ELECTION DAY
C’ Mon Republicans…….have some courage
“We need term limits & candidates over a certain age need to have cognition tests and health tests.” I agree with this. It is just too much when the nursing home is running the nation. Our nation should not be a joke. The can make us broke, get us into wars, end jobs, damage our energy supply. I really think we need fresh start in 2024. Trump also needs to do the right thing and think about the nation. He will be 78 years old in 2024. People have lived under Biden who is just too old to be in office and these voters do not forget. DeSantis is our hope for a win in 2024. He brings with him a youth, a fresh start, and appeals to many groups of voters.
That’s 2 dead winners in the Demtard party, lol. Usually it’s just dead folks voting for them.