State Elections Rated ‘Safest’ in the Nation – WYSH AM 1380

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(TN Office of the Secretary of State) Thanks to laws passed by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered by the Secretary of State and 95 county election commissions, Tennessee has the most secure elections in the nation, according to the table. Heritage Foundation’s Election Integrity Panel.

“I am grateful to the Heritage Foundation for this recognition and to everyone who works on Tennessee’s elections, both state and local, for their work in protecting the integrity of Tennessee’s ballots,” said Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally. “The General Assembly has long understood the importance of election security. From photo ID to ensuring our counties strive to produce a voter-verified paper audit trail by 2024, Tennessee has always been at the forefront of electoral integrity. As Secretary Hargett says, we are an easy state to vote, but hard to cheat. The General Assembly is resolved to make it so.

In the Heritage Foundation’s Scorecard, the election laws of each state and the District of Columbia are ranked according to how well they protect the integrity and security of the electoral process. Tennessee scored perfect scores in categories regarding voter ID implementation, vote collection restrictions, and vote counting practices.

“Election integrity is not a partisan issue, and Tennessee has set the national standard for protecting and preserving elections,” Speaker Cameron Sexton said. “Together, we have taken steps such as simplifying the Election Day process, achieving greater transparency in election financing, and preserving the precision and accuracy of all votes so that they remain legal.I appreciate Secretary Hargett, Coordinator Goins, Lt. Governor McNally, and the General Assembly for their continued partnership as we all work together to ensure elections in Tennessee are free, fair, and candid.

The Tennessee General Assembly has continually updated state election laws to incorporate best practices for protecting ballot box integrity. In administering the elections, the Secretary of State and Tennessee County’s 95 election officials worked hard to ensure that every eligible voter’s ballot was counted once and only once.

“Through our online voter registration system and generous early voting period, we’ve made it easier than ever for Tennesseans to register to vote and vote,” said Secretary of State Tre Hergett. “Through legislation signed into law by Lt. Governor McNally, President Sexton, and members of the Tennessee General Assembly, we have done this without weakening election security. In our great state, voters can trust our electoral process.

Tennessee elections are administered locally. In all 95 counties, county election administrators and a bipartisan team of local citizens serving as election officers manage polling places and tabulate election results. A bipartisan county election commission oversees each election. Tennessee law prohibits out-of-state poll watchers or observers and severely restricts private funding of election administration.

Before each election, the county’s bipartisan Elections Commission tests voting machines. Voting machines are never connected to the Internet. In Tennessee, the totals that voters see on Election Day are unofficial. Before an election is certified, each county election commission verifies the results of each race.

Tennessee election laws ensure that Tennessee voters lists are accurate and only eligible voters can vote. To keep voters lists up to date, voters can easily update their registration on GoVoteTN.gov. The Office of the Secretary of State also maintains voter lists in accordance with the List Update Procedures. To ensure that only eligible voters vote, Election Day registration is not permitted and Tennessee residents must show valid Tennessee or federal photo identification. Under Tennessee law, ID cards issued by other states, private organizations, and student IDs are not accepted.

In Tennessee, absentee ballots are only available by request to voters who meet one of 14 qualifying requirements. To prevent fraud from absentee voters by mail, ballots are watermarked and election officials match the signature on the envelope to that on file. Absentee ballots by mail are not opened until Election Day and are counted by local bipartisan counting committees.

“Every day, our office works with county lawmakers and election administrators across the state to ensure that our election laws protect the integrity of ballot boxes,” Elections Coordinator Mark Goins said. “We’re doing this because we want every Tennessean to have confidence in our electoral systems and see that in the voluntary state, it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

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