published Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Bill requiring TN voters to take loyalty oath dies

NASHVILLE -- A bill aimed at reducing crossover voting in Tennessee primary elections failed by voice vote in the state House Local Government Committee today.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, would have required each voter in a primary election to check a box agreeing that the party election "I am voting in most closely represents my values and beliefs."

Tennessee has long held open primaries.

Carr is running in the August GOP primary against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. But Carr has maintained all along his bill has nothing to do with that. The bill was opposed by Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney among others.

In the end, fellow Republicans on the GOP-controlled Local Government Committee refused to go along with Carr's bill.

In response to questions posed earlier by Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, Carr said those refusing to sign the declaration would not be allowed to vote in that primary.

But Dean questioned whether the bill would really accomplish anything, noting "they could still be honest … so this wouldn't help."

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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