Sumner County Commission, Elections Lawsuit Symbolizes Larger Issue: Unelected Bureaucrats That Have No Accountability To TN Taxpayers

Image Credit: Lawsuit by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0

The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –

Earlier this month, the Sumner County elections commission filed a lawsuit against the Sumner County Commission over the use of a building owned by the county for what the Elections Commission says is imperative to performing their duty as imposed on them by the state. That duty is to plan and carry out elections for the residents in Sumner County. 

The problem is that the mostly newly elected Sumner County Commission has determined that the Elections Commission doesn’t need a larger building and 250 brand new machines to fulfill their duty to carry out a free and fair election for the people of Sumner County. The County Commission feels they have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers and have decided to deny the building and the resources to impose an elections system many on the County Commission say the people simply don’t want.

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Additionally, there is a troubling history associated with the Administrator of Elections, Lori Atchley, who has threatened a local Alderman, and recently was arrested on charges of misdemeanor theft.  

The Tennessee Conservative reached out to County Commissioner Jeremy Mansfield who said:

“Elections should be about integrity and trust. Based on a track record of threatening elected officials, allowing election rules to be violated by candidates, lying to the County Commission about the status of election machines, violating the open meetings act, frivolously suing the County Commission, and now being arrested and charged with theft after lying to the police, citizens are questioning the integrity of our elections administrator and her ability to administer an honest and fair election. The Sumner County Election Commission, an appointed board by the TN State Legislature, appoints the Administer of Elections. Reprehensible behavior like this is conduct unbecoming of a county employee in charge of our voting process.” 

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Sumner County had a rather large turnover during their elections this past year in their County Commission, and members like Mansfield credit that turnover to the people of Sumner County being fed up with unelected bureaucrats who have no accountability to the voters. 

Which begs the question, if they don’t answer to the voters, who is it they answer to? That would be the Chairman of Election Assistance Commission Board, Mark Goins, and the Secretary of State Tre Hargett.  

Across the state, the integrity of our elections is a top-of-mind issue for voters, specifically conservative voters, who fear that without a tightening of our elections system here in Tennessee, a fair election will not be achievable. The largest concern has to do with BMDs, or Ballot Marking Devices, which have been somewhat forced into the voting process in every county, whether the voters want it or not, based on the assertion that our laws compel their use. That simply isn’t the case. 


And it seems that despite voters appealing to their local county level representatives communicating they are not interested in depending on ballot marking devices to cast their vote, as was the case in Williamson County this past month, the unelected bureaucrats that run our elections are determined to impose them. 

Sources tell The Tennessee Conservative that despite being denied funding from the Williamson County Commission, Williamson County EC plans to present a new resolution to get the funding for the ES&S machines that voters have very clearly expressed they do not want. If you live in Williamson County, you can contact your County Commissioner here to express your opinion. 

We will be monitoring the situations in both Sumner and Williamson counties and keep our readers informed of any new developments. 

About the Author: Kelly Jackson is a recent escapee from corporate America, and a California refugee to Tennessee. Christ follower, Wife and Mom of three amazing teenagers. She has a BA in Comm from Point Loma Nazarene University, and has a background in law enforcement and human resources. Since the summer of 2020, she has spent any and all free time in the trenches with local grassroots orgs, including Mom’s for Liberty Williamson County and Tennessee Stands as a core member.  Outspoken advocate for parents rights, medical freedom, and individual liberty. Kelly can be reached at

2 thoughts on “Sumner County Commission, Elections Lawsuit Symbolizes Larger Issue: Unelected Bureaucrats That Have No Accountability To TN Taxpayers

  • May 23, 2023 at 7:31 pm

    Who appoints/elects the State Board of Elections? Our State legislators. They are elected by the legislature for 4 yr terms – 4 GOP & 3 Dem (4 majority party, 3 minority party), 1 of each party from each of our 3 grand divisions and 1 at large.

    If we are not happy with who they have elected to serve on our State Board of Elections our legislators NEED to hear from us on this specific issue. This may be one of a number of important primary questions when multiple Republicans are running against each other for state Senator or state Representative.

    To run for this office: “To be eligible to serve on the State Election Commission one must be at least 25 years old, a resident of Tennessee for at least seven years, and a resident of the grand division of the state from which one seeks election for at least four years preceding the election. No more than any two members may be from the same grand division of the state.”

    Maybe we need fresh eyes on the problems and issues facing TN elections. Who will step up and be willing to serve in this capacity?

    The Tennessee State Election Commission meets next on July 10, 2023, 12 pm, Nashville Room (3rd floor) in the Wm R. Snodgrass TN Tower, downtown Nashville.

    Very few citizens take the time to attend. The more who attend the more they realize that they will be held accountable or may not be re-elected.

    They serve many hours for practically free (~$600 a month) and have sincere intentions, I am sure. However, as many in Nashville do, they would rather not make waves among the current employees than listen to the people of Tennessee that they serve and make changes. Maybe others will volunteer to serve in these important 7 positions and seek election. Maybe we can elect state legislators who will elect new people to this important commission.

    Either way, Secretary of State, the Election Commission, our state legislators and our county election commissions NEED to hear from us and NEED to see us attend the meetings.

    Politics is NOT a spectator sport! Get on the field and make a difference!

    All counties receive their new board appointments the beginning of April on odd numbered years. Who was appointed/reappointed to this county’s election commission? Did the state election commission reappoint the same people who have not fired the administrator facing criminal charges?!

    HUGE difference between having had a legal/criminal problem in the past versus being currently involved/charged. If a public official is charged with a criminal activity and/or is convicted VERY telling if they remain in office!!! Why would this happen in a department overseen by our Secretary of State?

  • May 24, 2023 at 12:37 am

    Sounds like the machine companies been “lobbying” election commissions, Goins and Hargett.


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