Amid false 2020 claims, GOP states eye voting system upgrade

FILE -Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee delivers his State of the State address in the House Chamber of the Capitol building, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. lection security experts for years have urged states to replace outdated voting machines. They say systems that include a paper record of every ballot cast would mean that any disputed results can be verified. Most took that path, but six states did not, five of them Republican-led. But with false claims still swirling around the 2020 presidential election, some GOP voters don't trust voting machines. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

For years, Tennessee Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro’s call to require the state’s voting infrastructure to include a paper record of each ballot cast has been batted down in the Republican-dominated Legislature.

But as false claims still swirl around the 2020 presidential election — and some GOP voters remain distrustful of voting machines — Tennessee Republican lawmakers who have held off are coming around on a paper-backed mandate. A similar scenario is playing out in some of the five other states — most of which are Republican-led — that do not currently have a voting system with a paper record.

The Tennessee GOP bill that is gaining traction would set a 2024 deadline for Tennessee to join the vast majority of states that already have voting systems that include a paper record of every ballot cast, so any disputed results can be verified.

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