ALERT! House Budget Subcommittee will meet Tuesday June 2 and will likely vote on HB614 to delay implementation of the Voter Confidence Act from 2010 to 2012. See the editorial below for a good explanation as to why the delay is a terrible idea!
Contact members of the House Budget Sub-Committee today June 1 and ask them to change our unreliable and unsafe touch screen system and paper ballots in 2010. Go to http://www.capitol.tn.gov/ for the list of committee members and email addresses.
Points to make:
1) Paper ballots are needed to keep our elections secure and fair!
2) They are less expensive than touch screen systems.
3) There is time and the federal government pays for the cost. Fair elections are important! Do not delay until 2012 and House Bill 0614!
Also, ask Senators to oppose SB 872!
Knoxville News Sentinel Editorial
Guest Column: Tennessee voter confidence act must be implemented now
By Bernie Ellis and Margie Parsley
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Tennessee went from being one of the 12 worst states for election security
to one of the 18 most secure.
We should all be proud of that accomplishment. It took us three years of
study, hard work and perseverance to come to the conclusion that our
elections are too important to be left to unverifiable direct record electronic
machines (DREs) that are easy to hack and impossible to audit.
The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations
recommended the move to paper ballots, as did the Legislature's Joint Committee on Voter Confidence. Many newspapers around the state supported this legislation. It was truly a nonpartisan effort, and all Tennesseans - regardless of political party - who want our votes to be counted as they are cast, cheered the success.
On June 5, 2008, more than a dozen Tennessee citizens who had worked hard to help save our democracy joined Gov. Phil Bredesen on the podium when he signed the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act (TVCA). On that day, the governor said: "The right to vote is one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and every voter deserves the 100 percent assurance that his or her vote will be counted. I am proud that Tennessee is taking a big step forward in
improving voter confidence."
We were proud, too, and shared the governor's belief that the voter
confidence act had made our elections safer and more secure for all citizens. But that was then. This is now.
Over the past several weeks, our legislators have been given extremely
high cost estimates concerning the shift to paper ballots and routine audits
as an excuse for delaying TVCA implementation until 2012. Some of these
extra-cost estimates would be laughable if they were not so dangerous.
One county estimated it would cost them $70,000 extra to store paper
ballots that would not fill a single filing cabinet. Another county estimated it
would cost almost $40,000 extra to conduct the routine two-hour training
class for poll workers.
Several counties estimated it would cost $10,000-$20,000 extra to audit a
few hundred votes in a single precinct - costs that would average out to
more than $50 per ballot.