Bill requiring TN voters to take loyalty oath dies

Bill requiring TN voters to take loyalty oath dies

March 11th, 2014 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Joe Carr

Joe Carr

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

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."