• Eric Fisher

2022: TN Strengthens Election Security

The Clarksvillian

A bill passed nearly unanimously in the Tennessee legislature requiring absentee ballots in the state to include a watermark as a measure of election security. Governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 1315, the Tennessee Election Integrity Act, which was passed by the Tennessee Legislature during Q2 and will require an approved watermark on all absentee ballots with the goal of providing more security to the election process.

The measure notes that "under present law, signature verification is the final verification necessary before a counting board counts absentee ballots," while under the new amendment, "signature verification will remain part of the verification process but will not be the final verification."

"This amendment requires a counting board official to verify that the absentee ballots contain the watermark and reject any ballot that does not bear the watermark," the law stipulates.

“The watermark will not be disclosed to the public in terms of what is put out in the paper for the sample ballot,” Rep. Bruce Griffey, R-Paris, said. “That will remain confidential with the local election officials.”