The Tennessee Legislature has passed legislation that would require all absentee ballots to contain a watermark for added security.
The Center Square reported that the state House passed the Tennessee Election Integrity Act on a 92-1 vote last week. On Monday, 27 state senators voted in favor of the measure, while one member who was present abstained from voting.
“We just passed legislation I co-sponsored that requires a non-visible watermark be placed on every mailed absentee ballot, further ensuring the integrity of ballots and elections in TN,” GOP state Rep. Jason Zachary tweeted April 27. “No watermark, the ballot is rejected.”
We just passed legislation I co-sponsored that requires a non-visible watermark be placed on every mailed absentee ballot, further ensuring the integrity of ballots and elections in TN. No watermark, the ballot is rejected. pic.twitter.com/nalPucZc56
— Rep. Jason Zachary (@JasonZacharyTN) April 27, 2021
The bill now heads to the desk of the state’s Republican governor, Bill Lee, who is expected to sign it into law.
This legislation will make it more difficult for fraudsters to duplicate absentee ballots.
Although it’s been considered politically incorrect to say that fraud may have played a role in President Joe Biden’s November victory over Donald Trump, many Republicans have expressed concern about election integrity.
On Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” host Maria Bartiromo spoke to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton about the issue.
Bartiromo said, “Let me switch gears and ask you about election integrity. This is a subject that has become taboo. We’re not allowed to question the 2020 election. We’re not allowed to question what is going on in Arizona or in Georgia. What do you say to what is going on in Georgia and how Texas is similar to that situation around election 2020?”
“Yeah, so if you look at election results from four years ago, Georgia and Texas were very similar,” the Republican responded. “We fought off 12 lawsuits. We were sued 12 times over mail-in ballots. It was Harris County, it was Travis County, these big urban counties that wanted to mail out all of these mail-in ballots in violation of state law. Clearly what was not allowed by the state legislature. And so, we fought these off.
“They didn’t want signature verification. We were told by a federal judge that was unconstitutional. So we had state lawsuits, different counties, federal lawsuits, we had 12 of them. We won every single one of them.
“Had we not won every single one of those lawsuits, I’m convinced that those ballots would have gone out and we would have been just like Georgia, who decided to capitulate and sign consent decrees and say, ‘It’s OK. We’re going to let these mail-in ballots go out. We’re going to allow no signature verification. We’re going to allow drop boxes.’
All of those things had an impact, and instead of Georgia and Texas having similar results this time because we defended those lawsuits, Trump won. We’re able to have a Republican legislature here, and in Georgia, it was completely turned.”
“So, are you saying that, because of what we saw in mail-in ballots in Georgia, you’re questioning the results?” Bartiromo asked.
“I absolutely am questioning,” Paxton replied. “I know what would have happened here. They would have stopped counting, just like they did in those states, and they would have been counting mail-in ballots until they get the right number of votes and suddenly Trump loses and we lose the state House here. We lose some of our Supreme Court justices. And it wouldn’t have been a legitimate count because we wouldn’t have followed state law.”
“So are you questioning what happened in the 2020 election?” she said.
“Absolutely,” he said. “They didn’t follow state law in these states. It’s clear. Whether you think there was fraud or not … we do know they didn’t follow state law.”
Requiring watermarks on absentee ballots is a great idea that should be adopted by every state. That, combined with firm voter ID laws, would go a long way to restoring voter confidence in U.S. elections.
Paxton’s strategy of expecting fraud and stopping it as it’s happening rather than capitulating is equally important.
There were many difficult-to-explain issues with the 2020 election. But the thing about fraud is that it’s difficult to prove.
States need to do whatever is necessary to secure the 2022 midterm elections.
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