Paper Lists Registered Non-Voters - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Paper Lists Registered Non-Voters

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Tennessee Tribune Publisher Rosetta Miller-Perry Tennessee Tribune Publisher Rosetta Miller-Perry
Terrence Alexander, whose name and addresses were published in a list of registered voters who didn't vote in 2004. Terrence Alexander, whose name and addresses were published in a list of registered voters who didn't vote in 2004.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville newspaper published the names and addresses of thousands of registered voters who did not go to the polls in the 2004 presidential election.

The paper said it is a way to encourage voter turnout in Nashville.

Some people listed such as Terrence Alexander said the list violates their privacy.

"The tactic is dirty," he said. "I think they should have had the decency to at least call me."

He said he did not vote in the last election because of a medical condition. He intended to vote, but he can't drive.

"I had a ride supposed to come to get me through the election services. No one ever showed up," he said.

"We have people over here who won't go out and vote," said Rosetta Miller-Perry, president and publisher of the Tennessee Tribune. "It's ridiculous. It really hurts."

The African-American newspaper based in North Nashville reaches more than 150,000 people each week, according to the paper's Web site.

The paper plans to publish the names of voters in four to five districts with predominately African-American voters in them. 

"Sometimes when you embarrass people they do the right thing," Miller-Perry said.

The paper published a list during the 2006 Senate race. She said in one district voter turnout went from 37 percent to 65 percent after the list was published.

"We need to live up to the civil rights that have been given to us," she said.

Some people listed cited work, lack of transportation or illness among the reasons of why they didn't vote in 2004.

One woman said she had every intention of voting but went to prison right before Election Day. 

Miller-Perry said these may all be valid excuses but there are hundreds out there who don't have a good excuse and they need to know their vote is important. 

"I intend to vote. Will they come and pick me up," Alexander said.

Since the list cost thousands of dollars to print the paper plans to publish the names online instead of in print for the next election.

It early voting started Wednesday in Tennessee. For details regarding times and early voting locations, contact the local county election commission office or the Tennessee Department of State Division of Elections.

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