published Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Bill barring UN observers during Tennessee elections goes to governor

NASHVILLE — Take that, United Nations: Tennessee Republican legislators don't need you around observing their elections anyhow.

Senators in the GOP-run chamber today sent Gov. Bill Haslam a measure aimed at preventing UN election monitors from coming into the state. The bill previously passed the House.

The bill passed with no debate. Its sponsor, Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, said "this is a one-sentence bill" and proceeded to read it.

“Any representative of the United Nations appearing without a treaty ratified by the United States Senate stating that the United Nations can monitor elections in this state, shall not monitor elections in this state," the bill says.

It passed 23-2.

The bill passed the House earlier on a 75-20 vote. The measure's sponsor, Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, said at the time “I don’t believe it’s their (UN's) jurisdiction to monitor us,” he said in a floor speech.

A different version of the bill passed last year. Tea Party lawmakers pushed the measure after a UN-affiliated group in 2012 sent two observers to Nashville to monitor elections as part of a program to see if Tennessee's new photo ID requirement impacted voting.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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