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Regional & National

Tenn. GOP fires 28 Democratic election commissioners; more expected to follow

May 13th, 2009 12:00 am by Staff Report

The Tennessean is reporting that 28 county election administrators already have been replaced since Republicans gained control of Tennessee's 95 county election commissions and more Democrats are likely to be dismissed in the months ahead, a state official says.

State Election Coordinator Mark Goins said despite "a few bumps and bruises" the transition from Democratic to Republican administrators has generally gone smoothly with the state providing special training and help to the unprecedented appointment of new officials.

A push in the Legislature to give Republicans control of the State Election Commission, meanwhile, may have hit a stumbling block with House Democrats announcing opposition to the Senate-passed bill - SB547 - that would make the change.

County election administrators are appointed by each county election commission. Under state law, all 95 commissions shifted to Republican control last month because Republicans now hold a majority of all seats in the Legislature.

The administrators, who oversee day-to-day operations of election offices, are paid a minimum annual salary ranging from $47,026 to $96,216, once certified under a state training program. The salary varies according to the population of the county, and some counties pay more than the minimum.

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