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The Tennessee Democratic Party finally has gotten around to objecting to Republican attempts to fix elections. Since winning control of all 95 county election commissions, the GOP's first order of business has been to try to delay implementing the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act. That law would force counties to switch to paper ballots from unreliable touch-screen voting machines by the 2010 elections. The Republican bill to stop the switch is up in committees in both the House and Senate tomorrow.
"When the TVCA is implemented, Tennessee's elections will be more secure, more accurate, and less expensive. There's no good reason to wait," Democratic Party chair Chip Forrester says.
"It's true that the economy has forced everyone to cut back. And I recognize that our county commissioners are concerned about the cost of implementing the TVCA. But the new optical scan machines will be paid for by $25 million in federal funds from the Help America Vote Act. Plus, other states report that switching from DREs to paper ballots actually saves money in the long run. Tennesseans deserve full confidence in the security of our elections. We can't afford to put these crucial reforms on hold."