Poll Worker Turned Whistleblower Raises Serious Questions After Election

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Poll Worker Turned Whistleblower Raises Serious Questions After Election

CREATED May 7, 2014
by Nick Beres

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A former poll worker has filed a lawsuit against the Davidson County Election Commission after he said he was unjustly fired.

Rollow Mickle said he worked for the Davidson County Election Commission for more than two decades before he was fired this past January.

"I was terminated unjustly for me speaking my mind," said Mickle. He's now filing a whistleblower lawsuit against the commission.

Mickle said he alerted his supervisors for years about sloppy practices that jeopardized the integrity of the electoral process. His attorney Andy Allman said Mickle was concerned about the democratic process.

"In this case we are talking about the public trust in elections," said Allman.

He provided Newschannel 5 pages of performance evaluations for Mickle that showed him to be an excellent employee.

Mickel said he observed a number of problems that were never corrected, including failure to accurately maintain voters' permanent records, failure to ensure all voters are citizens of the United States and failure to train and supervise temporary employees who did most of the data entry during elections.

He said other mistakes were made, from allowing people to vote more than once to allowing felons to vote.

"There have been a lot of internal problems there that have not been addressed," said Mickle.

The state did issue a scathing report on the way Davidson County handled the elections in 2012. Mickle said he still found problems and was fired when he reported them.

He has filed a whistleblower lawsuit in federal court. Mickle said the county commission can do better.

"If you can't get some of the basic things right then how can the public trust the results of what we give out," asked Mickle.

The Davidson County Election Commission declined to comment because of the pending litigation.

The staff acknowledged in the past there were problems and it's worth noting, recent steps have been taken to address them. These included better training for poll workers.

Plus, four new commission members were appointed and the elections administrator replaced just last November.

Mickle lost his job in January and concedes there's no way to know if the problems he observed still existed during Tuesday's elections. But he still said he was fired unfairly for simply pointing out the problems.

Email: nberes@newschannel5.com