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Odom: ‘The court has ruled. Goins, Hargett do your job!’

House Democratic Leader Gary Odom

House Democratic Leader Gary Odom

Nashville – House Democratic Leader Gary Odom Thursday renewed his call for fair elections in Tennessee by calling on the secretary of state to “do his job” after a state court issued a ruling confirming that state law requires the implementation of paper ballot machines for the 2010 elections to comply with the Voter Confidence Act of 2008.

Odom cited the following ruling from Chancellor Russell Perkins in Davidson County Chancery Court:

“The court finds that the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act does not require the voting system to be implemented by the state of Tennessee to meet 2005 standards,” wrote Perkins.

“The court determines that the state is obligated to take prompt, effective steps to meet the statutory deadline using compliant voting systems.”

Secretary of State Tre’ Hargett and his appointee, Elections Coordinator Mark Goins, have continually failed to use more than $35 million in federal funding to implement the ”Tennessee Voter Confidence Act,” arguing incorrectly that the machines should adhere to “2005” standards. The 2005 standards have yet to be set, however, Perkins says paper ballot machines recently approved by the federal government would comply with Tennessee state law.

“The court has ruled that it is time for the secretary of state’s office to stop dragging its feet and to provide for paper balloting for all of our voting machines in Tennessee elections by 2010,” said Odom. “To do anything less is to ignore your duty as secretary of state.”

Roy Herron who is one of several candidates running for the Democrat nomination for Governor said in a statement, “There is nothing more fundamental about our democracy than making sure that every vote counts and every vote is counted. I call on Secretary Hargett to implement the Voter Confidence Act and begin purchasing new voting machines with paper ballots without delay. The time to protect our vote is now.”




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