Tag Archives: rigged

‘The Fundamentally Rigged Nature of Tennessee’s Primary System’

Tennessee taxpayers will fork over an estimated $4.5 million this week administering elections for the two major parties, observes Andrea Zelenski, but as a matter of state law, the decision as to who can and cannot participate in the partisan festivities is ultimately left to party officials and not the government
That reality of the fundamentally rigged nature of Tennessee’s primary system was on display recently in Rhea County, where election judges turned away at least 10 voters this month for trying to vote in a primary election in which they were deemed by local GOP bigwigs as not “bona fide” members of the Party of Lincoln.
…Tennessee GOP chairman Chris Devaney indicated the party’s primary concern in the primary is promoting long-term partisan fidelity.
“We encourage people who have good intentions, Democrats, independents, to come over and vote in our primary if they intend to stay,” said Devaney when asked about the voter challenges in Dayton, a town of 7,000 people.
“But I don’t want people voting in our primary if they just want to manipulate the election,” he said.
Tennessee’s primary election system is technically open, allowing anyone to cast a vote in any primary. But the fine print of the law gives political parties the power to challenge and discount an individual’s vote if they are not “a bona fide member of and affiliated with the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote.”
Voters can get around that law only if they have “declared allegiance to the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote and (stated) that the voter intends to affiliate with that party.” If party election officials are convinced, voters can cast a ballot. Otherwise, those voters cast a rejected ballot that party leaders decide later whether to count.

Court of Appeals Rules Against Shelby Election Challenge

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled against several losing candidates who filed suit against the Shelby County Election Commission claiming the 2010 county election races were rigged.
The appellate court on Monday said the candidates failed to show that “fraud or illegality so permeated the conduct of the election as to render it incurably uncertain.”
The unanimous opinion upholds the ruling of a lower court in Shelby County.
All but one of the losing candidates ran as a Democrat, the other running in a nonpartisan judicial race. They filed the lawsuit after Republicans, who control the county election commission, unexpectedly won the races.
The lawsuit asked a court to void the election and prevent the winners from taking office.

Suspicion of Rigged Election Remains for Some Shelby Democrats

A “new and dangerous trend” in American politics is the tendency for losers in an election to suspect that the results were rigged, reports the Commercial Appeal in citing a 2005 national report as in a story focused on such suspicions in Shelby County.
Nearly 16 months after Republicans unexpectedly won nine county races in the Aug. 5, 2010, Shelby County election, several losing Democratic candidates continue to appeal a local judge’s ruling against them and seek a new vote.
Arguments before the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Jackson could take place in January, a court staffer said.
Republicans control the Shelby County Election Commission, and some Democrats have suggested they rigged the vote.
…..Shortly after the vote, Van Turner, head of the county Democratic party, said he had no faith in Bill Giannini, who held the part-time job of election commission chairman at the time. In 2005, Giannini had been elected chairman of the county Republican party.
Weeks later, Turner put out a news release that contained a report from an anonymous witness who made allegations that suggested a Republican conspiracy to tamper with electronic election machines.
With the exception of one candidate who ran for a non-partisan judgeship, the candidates who filed suit were all Democrats.
They have said in court records that the process was rife with errors — for instance, that records show that there were thousands more votes cast than there were participating voters. The election commission has said the losing candidates misread data and that the counts of votes and voters matched.
A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report prepared by the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office supported the commission’s assertion that the election was fair, and a Chancery Court judge dismissed a lawsuit by losing candidates in October 2010.