The state of Tennessee is supposed to move to using only paper ballots by the time voters head to the polls in 2012. But some lawmakers are looking to stop that, saying that communities just can’t afford to make the switch. The Tennessee Voter Confidence Act has already been delayed once, but it could be delayed again or done away with completely, and those who support paper ballots said that could put votes in jeopardy of being compromised.
The Voter Confidence Act originally required everyone in Tennessee to use paper ballots to cast their vote by the 2010 election.”Having an independent audit trail is key to any fair election,” said Joe Irrera, a paper ballot advocate. But early last year, lawmakers delayed implementation until 2012, saying election officials needed more time.
“The problem is that it’s very expensive on our local governments, and we’re at a time when they are looking at raising taxes just to maintain what they have,” said Rep. Glen Casada, R-College Grove.While counties can purchase the optical scan machines with federal funds, the cost of the ballot will fall on them.
The secretary of state’s office estimated that cost will be more than $11 million.
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