Tennessee Senate Passes Election Integrity Act Requiring Watermarks on Ballots


The Senate passed the “Tennessee Election Integrity Act,” which requires each county election commission to put watermarks on their ballots. Electronic absentee ballots would be exempt. The act received unanimous, bipartisan support.

Under the Tennessee Election Integrity Act, each county election commission must have their watermark approved by the state coordinator of elections. None of the publicly-available sample ballots will have the watermark. Additionally, signature verification of the voter on absentee ballots will no longer be considered the final verification necessary before counting the ballots – the approved watermark will be. If an absentee ballot is rejected, the official must write “rejected” across its face and include the reason for rejection.

The sponsors on the bill were State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) and State Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald).

The original version of the Tennessee Election Integrity Act had nothing to do with watermarks. Instead, it addressed nongovernmental funding. If unamended, the act would’ve required elected officials’ approval for individuals, businesses, corporations, or political parties.

Those proposed regulations were advanced in another bill. While that bill originally prohibited nongovernmental funds outright, amendments softened its language to allow the funds under certain circumstances. State-level funds could be approved by the speakers of both the House and Senate; county-level funds could be approved by either the secretary of state or one of his designees. However, if the funds were purposed for items like pens, hand sanitizer, or other “nominal items,” then no approval would be necessary. That legislation passed in the Senate earlier this month, and in the House last week. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

The House is scheduled to vote on the Tennessee Election Integrity Act on Tuesday.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].






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8 Thoughts to “Tennessee Senate Passes Election Integrity Act Requiring Watermarks on Ballots”

  1. Bob Marsh

    We should just go back to the old fashioned paper ballots on election day.

    Just show your ID , and yes black people are smart enough to find the DMV, fill out the ballot and leave.

    We get the results that night. If any problems just look at the ballots.

  2. Mark Hodgson

    The Democrats will still find some way to cheat.
    Lying, Cheating, Stealing, Killing, Destroying:
    It’s what they do.
    It’s who they are.

  3. Ron Welch

    The only racism associated with requiring ID’s which are easily accessible to everyone is the condescending racism of those who suppose that black people or other minorities cannot acquire an ID. And such an attitude implies that anyone or any place or facility requiring one is racist. If this wasn’t such vile race-baiting diviseness, it would just be absurdly laughable.

  4. Leslie

    Yeahhh! I’m a Tennessean and I am so proud..so happy you are protecting the validity of our vote !!!! We asked for this and you kept your promise!! Good job.

  5. Bill

    The only racists are those not supporting honesty and integrity sonny boy. Think about that instead of your marxist agenda.

  6. william delzell

    More racist dirty work by the Tea Party!

    1. Leslie

      Not true. Many people who live here asked for something to make us feel more protected in regardes to our election and our vote. This doesn’t take away anything from anyone. It requires no action whatsoever of the voter, but it gives us a little peace of mind. Very smart!

  7. Kevin

    Here here! It’s a start! Great job! Now keep going!