3 New Election Integrity Bills Introduced In TN General Assembly (Update 2/10/22)
***Update 2/10/22 – House Bill 2203 has been assigned to the House Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee. SB2643 was passed on first and second consideration and referred to the Senate State and Local Government Committee.***
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Three new bills to further the integrity of our elections in Tennessee have been introduced in the General Assembly.
#1 Prohibiting Foreign Influence In Tennessee Elections
House Bill 2203 (HB2203), sponsored by Representative Chris Todd (R-Madison County-District 73), and Senate Bill 2643 (SB2643), sponsored by Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga-District 10) seek to prohibit foreign nationals, corporations, and interest groups from interfering with state and local governmental affairs by financing certain political agendas, preferences, and activities that do not involve the election of an individual to a public office. – Amends TCA Title 2, Chapter 19.
HB2203 was introduced on February 2nd, 2022. SB2643 was filed for introduction on February 2nd, 2022.
#2 Establishing Election Integrity Office
House Bill 2112 (HB2112), sponsored by Representative Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill-District 92), and Senate Bill 1939 (SB1939), sponsored by Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma-District 16), aims to require the comptroller of the treasury to establish an office of election integrity within the department of audit to perform and supervise election audits. – Amends TCA Title 2; Title 4, Chapter 29; Title 4, Chapter 3, Part 3 and Title 8, Chapter 4.
HB2122 has been assigned to the House Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee.
SB1939 was passed on first and second consideration and has referred to the Senate State and Local Government Committee.
#3 Procuring Vendor To Provide Paper Ballots With Unique Voter Identifiers
House Bill 2123 (HB2123), sponsored by Representative Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill-District 92), and Senate Bill 2195 (SB2195), sponsored by Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma-District 16), as introduced, will require the state coordinator of elections to procure a vendor that produces paper ballots containing a unique voter identifier prior to the 2024 election cycle and authorize their use in a county, upon request, for purposes of voting in 2024. – Amends TCA Section 2-7-114.
House Bill 2123 was introduced on February 2nd, 2022.
Senate Bill 2195 was recalled from the clerk’s desk on February 1st, 2002 after filing and then withdrawn on the same date. This most likely means that the bill’s language is being tweaked and that the bill will be re-filed under this number designation or a new number should the bill be determined to require significant changes.
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The above bills follow legislation filed by Representative John Crawford on Monday to prevent any person who is not a U.S. citizen from participating in any federal, state, or local election in Tennessee. It would also prohibit local governments in the state from allowing those who are not citizens to vote in any local election.
Yesterday, Crawford’s bill gained a Senate counterpart bill, sponsored by Senator Jon Lundberg.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com