Obion County Searching for Support in Voting Machine Lawsuit

The Obion County Election Commission is prepping for a possible lawsuit asking the state to delay the purchase of new voting machines that read paper ballots. And now Obion County wants others to join them.

The Voter Confidence Act of 2008 mandates a changeover from electronic touch screens to optical scan machines that read paper ballots. That’s supposed to happen by the 2010 general election next November. But there’s been disagreement about what standards new machines must meet and whether there are machines available.

Obion County has sent letters out looking for support. The Davidson County Election Commission voted Friday to have Metro attorneys look into the body’s possible involvement. Chairman Lynn Greer says he supports participation. He thinks the Voter Confidence Act should be delayed, and he says the current touch-screen machines aren’t causing any problems.

“Those machines are as good as they can be. Anybody who thinks there not ought to resign from their seat and say ‘I was elected illegally’ and I don’t see a lot of people stepping up and saying, ‘gee, my last election wasn’t a good one.’ These machines work fine. They’re not rigged.”

Obion County Election Administrator Leigh Schlager says the commission has heard back from others interested in participating in a lawsuit, though she wouldn’t name them yet. Before filing suit, Schlager says, the Obion commission is waiting for an opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General.

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