Reported By Tracee Tolentino, Reporter - bio | email
WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. -
Kyle Oakley, a Wilson County veteran was upset to learn that he was ineligible to vote in this year's presidential election.
The right to vote is one that Oakley thought was protected while deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps.
"I believe that this election coming up is one of the most important of my, our generation," he told Nashville's News 2.
Oakley said he was told he was purged from the system when he called the Wilson County Election Commission to check on his voter status.
"She couldn't find my name or anything in the system and she said, ‘Hold on just a second, you've been purged from the system when you deployed to Iraq you were purged,'" explained Oakley.
While serving in Iraq in 2008, Oakley said he registered to vote with a form specifically for those in the military serving overseas, however, according to the Wilson County Election Commission that form was only a temporary registration.
"You fight for our country and then you come here and they tell you, you can't vote," said Oakley. "I was kind of shocked actually and for them to tell me there was nothing I could do about it really upset me."
Oakley was unaware his voter registration had expired, and now worries other veterans planning to vote this year may not be able to.
"Check your status before this election because that's taking away the rights of possibly many other people," Oakley said.
Following Nashville's News 2 investigation, Oakley learned early Wednesday evening that he would be allowed to vote on a provisional ballot while his voter registration records are sorted out.