Tag Archives: machines

Election Official: Nashville Voting Machines Programmed for Maryland, Not TN

Davidson County voting machines that defaulted to Republican ballots during the Aug. 2 primary elections had been programmed like those used in a closed-primary system, which Tennessee doesn’t have, reports The Tennessean.
Election Commissioner Steve Abernathy, who has defended the county’s use of the machines, known as “electronic poll books,” confirmed that vendor ES&S programmed them like the ones used in Maryland, where voters generally must be registered members of a party to vote in its primary.
In Tennessee, the system is open, meaning voters don’t register as party members, and they can cast ballots in either primary. But the machines in 60 of Davidson County’s 160 precincts didn’t always work that way last month.
Some voters, including Sheriff Daron Hall, an elected Democrat, have said the electronic poll books gave them Republican ballots if poll workers didn’t ask them which primary they wanted to vote in.
The problem has drawn howls of outrage from Democrats, including Metro Council members and U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper. Abernathy, one of three Republicans on the five-member Election Commission, said the machines weren’t supposed to work that way.

Republicans Vote to Scuttle Voter Confidence Act

After contentious debate, Republicans on a House committee voted to derail the “Voter Confidence Act, which calls for new voting machines to be in place for next year’s elections with most costs covered by $35 million in federal funds.
Democrats tried to amend the bill to allow each county commission to decide whether it wants the new machines, which will provide a “paper trail” of ballots and which may require some spending beyond the allotted federal money. Republicans killed the amendment.
Democrats accused the Republicans of unfairly shutting off debate, ignoring local government independence and – as Rep. Larry Miller, D-Memphis, put it – “treating us like we don’t even exist.”
“We treat you as you exist,” said House State and Local Government Committee Chairman Curry Todd, R-Collierville.
Todd joined Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland, in declaring Republicans behaving more fairly than Democrats did when they held majorities in the House.

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