Last month, Secretary of State Tre Hargett dismissed a national report that gave Tennessee a failing grade in election security, reasoning that the main threat to elections is misinformation keeping voters home, not foreign interference.
This could not be more false.
Thirteen Russians and three Russian companies have already been indicted for allegedly interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, including operation of a Twitter account named “Tennessee GOP” that falsely claimed to be run by the state party, which attracted over 100,000 followers.
Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, ex-Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, conservative activist Grover Norquist and other experts have urged states to take election security more seriously in light of foreign attempts to influence the 2016 elections. Specifically, they encourage voting systems which leave a paper trail that can be audited.
Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper has urged our state legislature to use the more than $29 million in leftover federal funding from the Help America Vote Act to help secure paper ballots.
This is not a partisan issue. We should all be concerned about the security of our elections.
With the vote as the foundation of our democracy, it is crucial that our election officials do everything in their power to defend our elections from malicious interference. Implementing voting machines that print receipts would help restore the integrity of our elections and promote election security.