by Jim Ridley
Tuesday's drubbing of Tennessee Democrats was no surprise, except possibly for its extent. But Democratic Underground raises red flags about the state's checkered balloting history and resistance to vote reform:
Most of y'all here know Tennessee's recent election integrity-related history:
—- our hosting of the National Election Reform Conference in Nashville (April, 2005) on which the documentary "UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections" was based;
—- our three-year, grassroots-inspired campaign to pass a paper ballots law (the TN Voter Confidence Act) overwhelmingly in 2008 (but only after a compromise with Republicans to delay implementation to 2010);
—- the "unexpected" 2008 seizure of our state legislature by Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction (and only by winning EVERY open seat in our legislature from Memphis to Mountain City);
—- having the TVCA challenged immediately by them thereafter and then (once again) having the law delayed until 2012;
—- and the puzzling and perhaps predictable series of incredible election results beginning and continuing thereafter (e.g., Shelby County in August).
As a result (and extension) of all that, here is what happened in Tennessee last night in our state's legislature, and why (conveniently for, and as a consequence of, our state's Republicans) we'll never know why. The discussion below is about the continuing incredible red shift in our state legislature, as presented to us by unverifiable voting machines that, by law, should not have been used in this election. ...
Let me stress: I am not arguing that Tennessee Democrats, state and federal, were not at risk this year or that some losses were not expected. But when the projections were for two or three lost seats and THEY PICKED UP 14 (and from some very surprising quarters), well ....