Ballot Battle Resolved! Jones Defends Signatures, Stays Put

Ballot Battle Resolved! Jones Defends Signatures, Stays Put

State Representative Justin Jones (D-Nashville) will stay on the ballot after a Republican candidate questioned the legitimacy of the signatures on his qualifying petition to run for the Tennessee General Assembly.

Laura Nelson, Republican candidate for District 52, spearheaded the effort to have Jones removed. Tennessee law requires candidates for a House seat to have 25 signatures on a qualifying petition from registered voters in their district. Nelson’s proof included poking holes in Jones’ petition, claiming that three of the names did not match the signatures.

Jones and several of his supporters attended Thursday’s Metro Election Commission meeting when commissioners argued whether to accept the signatures. “I don’t have much of an issue with [two signatures]. Their initials closely resemble those on their registration documents. My primary issue, quite honestly, is with [one woman’s signature], and it concerns not only her signature but also the printed portion of it,” Commissioner Will Burns stated during Thursday’s meeting.

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“I would just point out that my signature is simply initials because ‘Tricia Herzfeld’ is too long to type, the F and the Z…And if you look at the minutes that I just signed — I’m the secretary, so I have to sign the minutes — you won’t be able to see my signature on any of them. Commissioner Tricia Herzfeld added, “It’s a ‘T, scribble, H, scribble, and like that’s my signature.” In the end, the panel decided to accept all 25 signatures.

Nelson and Jones will contest for the District 52 seat in the November election.

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