NASHVILLE, TN – Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney issued the following statement after the State House Subcommittee on Elections passed a bill to make it easier for members of the U.S. Armed Services deployed overseas to cast their absentee ballots:
“The brave men and women of our Armed Forces make tremendous sacrifices each day to ensure that the freedoms of this great nation are protected. It is unthinkable that while they are working to protect our right to vote, their votes might not be counted in an election.”
State Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) is the chief sponsor of today’s legislation which is an amended version of a bill he sponsored last year. Shockingly, the original version was voted down last spring by Democrat Rep. Eddie Yokley and two of his colleagues. Democrats voted to kill the bill despite the release of a report just three months prior that named Tennessee one of 16 states that is failing to allow military personnel deployed overseas enough time to cast their absentee ballots.
“Rep. Yokley and his Democrat colleagues we’re wrong to vote against this effort to help our troops the first time it came up. However, I’m pleased they have joined the Republican effort to ensure our troops are given enough time to participate in the election process while stationed overseas. Tennessee’s troops deserve nothing less and I commend Rep. McCormick and Sen. Ketron for their leadership on this issue.”
Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) introduced similar legislation last week in the State Senate. In addition to helping our troops, the initiatives put Tennessee in compliance with the federal government’s Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act that was enacted last October.