House Republicans advanced a bill on Tuesday abolishing the “Tennessee Voter Confidence Act.”
Some county election offices, including Hamilton County, have said the act would require the purchase of expensive new voting equipment. They said the current equipment is working well.
Election officials in Marshall County estimated the cost of new equipment would be $75,000. They said they had already switched voting equipment three times in the last 10 years.
But House Democrats hit the new legislation.
“This bill was passed in response to Congressional action years ago,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory). “They’re simply refusing to follow through on making voting in this state more accurate …. Unbelievable.”
The “Voter Confidence Act” was a law passed by the General Assembly in 2008
that would provide a paper trail for all voting machines across the state. The law, which was funded by Congress, was an effort to make voting more accurate across the nation. state Democrats said.
They said more than $35 million, which may only be used for voting machines, has been held by the secretary of state since the law passed.
The Tennessee Voter Confidence Abolishment (HB 386), which passed the House State and Local Government Committee, will now go to the House Finance Committee.
“The election coordinator of this state and the secretary of state have simply refused to implement this law,” said state Rep. Larry Miller (D-Memphis). “I want them to tell Tennesseans what they’re going to do with this money, and tell them now. They’re currently paying staff to implement this. What are they doing?”