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Re: “Tennessee Secretary of State Says Up-to-Date Voting Machines Available for TVCA But Costs Still Prohibitive

I am a former election administrator and I must make a few corrections.

Fact: Brook Thompson did not appoint or pick any election administrators.

Fact: According to the statutes, the State Election Commission and the County Election Commissions have a political composition which is controlled by which party has the majority in the legislature.

Fact: Election Administrators, one per county, are appointed by County Election Commissions. No where in the statutes does it specify this is a partisan appointment.

Fact: County Election Commissions are appointed by the State Election Commission who are mandated to "consult with legislators" who represent each county.

Fact: The State Election Commission is appointed by the legislators.

Fact: Even though the legislature and the county election commissions were controlled for many, many years by democrats, I know for a fact that not all Election Administrators were Democrat. The Republicans who were not directly involved simply assumed if the Democrats had control they would only appoint Democrat Administrators of Election.

Fact: It is true that many Administrators lost their position because of their voting history, and were replaced by persons who are Republicans. This was done even though the Attorney General issued an opinion in early April which stated that dismissal of Administrators of Election on the basis of party affiliation should not be done.

Fact: The major cost that the counties would be responnsible for are the ongoing costs, and some other initial costs which would not be covered by the grant money.

Fact: While it seems logical that one opitical voting machine would cost less than multiple electronic machines, there will be the cost of printing the ballots and storing the ballots. There are multiple ballot styles which are determined by the offices on the ballot. For example some offices are elected by voters only in certain wards, districts or precincts. I don't think it is easy for most people to imagine how large a space it will take to secure prior to an election. After an election ballots have to be stored at least 6 months,ballots with federal offices have to be stored securely for 21 months.

Fact: The space needed to store the optical scan machines and the ballots will be larger than the space required to store the electronic machines.

Fact: I do not know any election administrators who do not want secure, safe elections and who do not want the voters to be confident in the voting system used.

Fact: There is a mandated system of checks and balances that includes documentation to verify the integrity of the voting machines and the elections.
That is for any voting system used in the counties.

Fact: The electronic machines were not chosen by the counties in order to "steal" elections. Many election commissions were run by members of both parties working in a cooperative effort with one goal....safe and secure elections. They were not run by sheer dominance of the controlling party.

Fact: Electronic machines can be and are audited. They have the results stored in more than one place and in more than one format. They simply don't issue a paper receipt when the voter casts his ballot. Electronic machines have an accuracy check which is the candidates and public can attend.

Fact: Each election produced documentation to verify the integrity of each election held, and are public record.

The above facts to not mean that I am against optical scan machines. Each voting system has pros and cons. The legislature has passed the TVCA and if not amended or repealed, the counties must implement the optical scan systems.

Posted by 1voter1voice on 12/10/2009 at 9:27 AM


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