Former Haslam aide’s eligibility for Knox election commission seat questioned

A question has been raised about whether Hannah Parker, a former aide to Gov. Bill Haslam recently named to serve on the Knox County Election Commission, is eligible to serve because of a residency requirement in state law. But state Rep. Ryan Haynes, chairman of the Knox County legislative delegation, tells Georgiana Vines that he’s checked with the appropriate official and she’s OK.

State law says election commissioners must be a resident of the county where they serve for at least two years.

Parker, 28, is a native of Knoxville, registered to vote in Knox County when she was 18 and is registered now. But there was about a 3½-year period when she was in Nashville working for Gov. Bill Haslam (Note: She had the title of deputy for operations) and living there that she was registered with the Davidson County Election Commission.

She returned to Knoxville last year.

Haynes, who is delegation chairman, said he talked Friday afternoon with Coordinator Mark Goins and Secretary of State Tre Hargett about Parker’s eligibility.

“I am confident that Hannah is within the law to serve on the Election Commission,” Haynes, R-Knoxville, said. “I’d love to have her serve and speak only for myself. I am confident that she is eligible to serve.”
Earlier in the day he had said there were questions about her eligibility, and she might not be able to serve.

Appointments actually are made by the state Election Commission with those board members following recommendations of legislators…. Parker was appointed to replace Rob McNutt. The legislators named two other Republican incumbents for reappointment, lawyers Bob Bowman and Chris Heagerty.

…Parker said at the end of the day, she wants to operate out of an abundance of caution.

“I don’t want to do anything that makes the election process (seem not) above board,” Parker said.