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Electronic voting machines on hold, Shelby Co. Commission approves resolution for paper ballots

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:08 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:26 AM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - The next time you vote, you could do it with a paper ballot in Shelby County.

Monday night, the Shelby County Commission approved a resolution to buy hand-marked paper ballots.

That’s right, the county’s election commission has been asking for new voting machines for years at this point. They’ve once again been denied. Instead, the county commission added a resolution to buy paper ballots.

County Commissioner Eddie Jones says the county will start the process of purchasing hand-marked paper ballots going against recommendations by the election commission for electronic machines.

The commission has not ruled out taking legal action in the future.

University of Memphis professor of Law Attorney Steve Mulroy says the county commission was right to turn down the election commission.

“I think the county commission has been more than patient,” said Mulroy. “They are now doing what they told the election commission they would do more than a year ago, and they are pursuing on their own their state law authority to get a secure, affordable, hand-marked paper ballot system.”

After being asked about the election commission possibly taking legal action, Commissioner Brent Taylor sent a statement that said in part:

“Undetermined. I will need to discuss this latest development with my colleagues on the Election Commission. It was our hope to work with the County Commission to resolve this in the best interest of Shelby Countians.”

Mulroy says Monday’s vote marked the fourth time the commission has denied the election commission’s request for new electronic voting machines and he says the paper ballots will save taxpayers millions of dollars.

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