Margaret A. Thompson, a Clarksville City Council candidate in Ward 4 in 2020, who voted in Dickson County while she claimed to be a Montgomery County resident, has been arrested on three charges of voter registration fraud.

Thompson was arrested and booked into the Dickson County Jail on Thursday, Oct. 7, according to the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department.

She was released on a $5,000 bond Thursday night.

Count 1 of the indictment handed down by the grand jurors of Dickson County stated that in August of 2018, Thompson was not entitled to vote in any manner where or when she was not entitled, but did so unlawfully, intentionally and feloniously vote there.

In November of 2018 and February of 2020, Counts 2 and 3 of the indictment said she repeated the practice.

The Dickson County records showed Thompson’s address in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County Sheriff officials said Thompson was arrested last week in Montgomery County but it was by the Dickson County Sheriff’s office.

Reported earlier

Clarksville’s charter requires city council candidates to live in the city for 12 months prior to an election.

In the Oct. 15 edition of Main Street Clarksville, Thompson claimed to be a Clarksville resident for several years and a special education teacher with Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools.

“I have resided in Ward 4 for about eight years,” Thompson said.

But both Dickson County and Montgomery County election commissions’ voter records show Margaret Thompson, with a birthdate of Sept. 14, 1971, was a registered voter in both counties.

In Dickson County, the records obtained by Main Street Clarksville showed Thompson voted early in Dickson County on March 3.

The records also showed Thompson voted there in at least seven elections within the past eight years she claimed to live in Montgomery County.

On July 7, records indicated Thompson’s voter registration in Dickson County was purged due to her moving the registration to Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County Election Commission acknowledged last November that Clarksville’s charter requires city council candidates to live in the city for 12 months prior to the election, according to Elizabeth Black, Montgomery County administrator of elections.

“Normally, citizens who know a candidate is not qualified notifies the election commission during the qualification period,” Black said. “Without a challenge to the qualifications, the election commission relies on the candidate’s oath on the nominating petition that they meet the qualifications for office.”

Black said last year that voter history from other counties in Tennessee is not readily available to the Montgomery County Election Commission.

“The challenge to her qualifications has come at a point in the election process where ballots have been printed and voting machines programmed,” Black said in an October 2020 email. “Absentee-by-mail voters have already cast ballots, and early voting starts Wednesday, Oct. 14. If a court were to find that Ms. Thompson is not qualified to be on the ballot and directs the election commission to not count votes for her, the election commission will comply with the order.”

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