Special Panel Rejects Challenge to Sen. Burks’ Election

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A special Tennessee legislative committee has unanimously voted for Sen. Charlotte Burks to maintain her District 15 Senate seat after allegations of voting irregularities in last year’s election.
The Monterey Democrat beat Republican Gary Steakley by 183 votes.
Steakley alleged voting machines were tampered with in two separate precincts in Putnam County and that the county’s election commission was incompetent in its handling of the election.
But the special ad hoc committee voted 5-0 after hearing testimony from both sides Thursday that Steakley failed to meet his burden of proof that “fraud or illegality so permeated the conduct of the election as to render it incurably uncertain.”
State Senate District 15 includes Cumberland, White, Putnam, Overton, Jackson and Pickett counties.
UPDATE: The Cookeville Herald-Citizen has a detailed account of the proceedings with quotes from the participants.

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