Same issue. Same voting machines. For the second time, the Sevier County Election Commission has effectively decided to retain the current voting machines for a March 14 re-vote on the question of offering liquor by the drink in Pigeon Forge. Commissioner John Huff said Thursday he favors keeping the machines for two reasons. “The people who vote are already familiar with them, and our poll workers are familiar with them,” he said. The March 14 vote was set after a judge voided a Nov. 6 due to ballot errors. Huff said those errors were because of human error, not because of a problem with the machines.
Using newer machines, based on an optical scanning method of recording ballots, was proposed at a January meeting of the commission, but it failed on a 2-to-2 tie vote. Commission Chairman J.B. Matthews was absent from that meeting due to a family illness.
… On Thursday, that motion failed for lack of a second, preserving the group’s decision to keep the current machines. Commissioner Mike Fitzgibbons, a strong advocate for use of the new machines, was been out of town on business and did not arrive in time to participate.
He said he remains unhappy with the decision because he believes there is a possibility the current machines could be remotely manipulated in such a way to change votes.