Metro Council Purchases Controversial Voting Equipment
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Metro Council Members exchanged some heated words over controversial electronic poll books during a meeting.
Despite the debate, the council voted to appropriate $400,000 to buy the equipment for the Davidson County Election Commission. The money will purchase 200 machines and upheld a contractual agreement signed last year.
The high tech machines have been at the center of a controversy after being tested in several polling locations during the August 2nd primary. Some voters reported receiving the wrong ballot. Since then, the Davidson County Election Commission has voted not to use the devices in the November election.
Council Member Bo Mitchell blamed the Davidson County Election Commission for the recent problems, and said the Council should demand more answers before making the payment.
"If the citizens of this county do not have faith in electoral process, then we have a severe problem," said Council Member Mitchell.
Council Member Jerry Maynard took aim at the manufacturer for the ballot mix ups.
"This is a serious matter," said Council Member Maynard, "We should void the contract and work with a company that has greater integrity."
Supporter, Council Member Charlie Tygard argued the problems have been fixed, and it is important to honor a contractual agreement.
"We have logical explanations for everything that occurred here," said Council Member Tygard, "to imply there were improprieties or direct attempts to influence elections is false and should not be said."
The devices will only be used for directing people to the proper voting precinct in November.
In other business, Council Members voted to approve a 455-acre rezoning in Nashville's Midtown area, and agreed to put five proposed charter amendments up for public votes in November. The amendments included clarifying the duties of the Davidson County Sheriff, and allowing metro government employees to serve as part-time poll workers for the election commission.