NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 8, 2018) – Tennesseans are eager for action on election modernization and security, according to a new policy brief on elections and civic life released today by nonpartisan think tank ThinkTennessee.
The brief, which is the second in a series of reports related to the group’s State of Our State 2018 dashboard, finds that technological innovations have been key to recent election-system improvements in Tennessee and other states. It urges state leaders to consider additional opportunities to build on that momentum.
“Tennessee has always answered the call of civic duty,” said ThinkTennessee president Shanna Singh Hughey. “As the Volunteer State, we made history by answering our nation’s call to service. And as the state that cast the deciding vote to ratify the 19th Amendment, we helped empower millions of women across the country. Now, with the rise in election threats, Tennesseans are ready to see our state again defend the integrity of our democracy.”
According to the brief, most Tennesseans report having some concern about the state’s election system, with fears ranging from foreign interference to the hacking of voting machines. A clear majority—68 percent—say they want to see Tennessee’s state government do more to ensure elections are free from fraud and tampering.
Many other states have responded to similar worries by taking steps to modernize and secure their election systems. Most now have machines with voter-verified paper audit trails, which provide a permanent record of votes and allow more accurate election auditing. Currently, only 13 counties in Tennessee use machines that produce a paper trail.