In 2008 the Tennessee legislature voted almost unanimously to make elections more secure, dependable and trustworthy by requiring a verifiable paper trail for each vote. The step was long overdue — more than 30 states already have such security measures.
But three years later, secure elections in Tennessee remain at risk and voters may never know if their votes are counted.
If legislative Republicans’ march toward passing a bill that would effectively repeal the Voter Confidence Act succeeds, it would be a devastating blow to democracy in Tennessee. The electronic voting machines used in 93 of our 95 counties are so vulnerable to fraud and thievery that they can steal your vote even before you cast your ballot.
The machines can be hacked at the factory, during transport or the night before an election. They can be manipulated during and after an election with simple tools like paper clips and telephone cords. A New York University task force found that “paperless touch-screen voting machines” like “those presently used in parts of Tennessee, are the least secure voting system” in the entire country.
State Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden, represents Benton, Decatur, Henry, Henderson, Lake, Obion, Perry, Stewart and Weakley counties.