According to a report in the Tennessean, state Democratic leaders are accusing a Republican official of intentionally delaying new voting machines in Tennessee that are able to produce a paper trail.
The charges come two days after Secretary of State Tre Hargett announced that it was unlikely that his office could comply with a directive in the Voter Confidence Act of 2007 that requires voting equipment capable of being audited be in place by November 2010.
"This is about putting it off until 2012," Senate Democratic Caucus chairman Roy Herron told the Tennessean. He contends the new machines will be put in place, just not in time for the 2010 election. "Some would say this is the most important elections in our lifetimes, the most important election in the history of the state."
In addition to an open race for governor — a race in which Herron is a candidate — the 2010 election in Tennessee will determine the political balance of the legislature, which in turn, will draw new congressional boundaries that will be in place for the next decade.
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