FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Secretary of State Has Authority to Stop Certification of Election and Should Use It

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TENNESSEE SECRETARY OF STATE HAS AUTHORITY TO STOP
CERTIFICATION OF PRIMARY ELECTION AND SHOULD USE IT

Nashville, Tenn. (August 30, 2012) — Despite their assertions to the contrary, Secretary of State Tre Hargett and State Election Coordinator Mark Goins have the authority to stop the certification process of the August 2 primary – and they should use that authority today.

“Clearly the Tennessee Code [Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-8-113, attached] gives Tre Hargett and Mark Goins the authority to certify or not-certify the August 2 primary,” said Mary Mancini, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, “and clearly they are abdicating that responsibility.”

Mr. Hargett and Mr. Goins said they knew of the problem with the new Electronic Poll Books (EPBs) used in the August 2 primary election in Davidson County, TN and have been investigating since August 16. Election officials have acknowledged that the EPBs defaulted to the Republican ballot if a poll worker did not choose a specific ballot. The Secretary of State’s office claims they have been investigating since August 16, however that investigation has not concluded. In addition, today, two weeks to the the day in which the law says they must certify the election, they have chosen to let their investigation lapse and their questions remain unanswered.

“Mr. Hargett and Mr. Goins have described a process in which they are trying to get answers from Albert Tieche, the Davidson County Election Administrator and another process in which they will notify the 19,714 voters who may have been affected,” Mancini said, “So where are their answers? And have they contacted voters yet? And why are they going to certify the election today without receiving those answers or hearing from voters?Yesterday, Tennessee Senate and House Democratic leaders asked for an explanation on the certification process, asking if a county could rig an election and certify the results without any intervening checks and balances at the state level.

Tennessee Citizen Action works in the public interest as Tennessee’s premier consumer rights organization. Our mission is to work to improve the overall health, well-being, and quality of life for all people who live and work in Tennessee.

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CONTACT:
Mary Mancini
mary@tnca.org
http://www.tnca.org
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