Monday, November 22, 2010

TN Senate May Decide Steakley Election Challenge

Republican State senate candidate Gary Steakley has now filed an official "contest of election" in the race that he lost to incumbent Charlotte Burks earlier this month. The contest was filed with the clerk of the Tennessee State Senate under a section of state law which states that "contests for the office of senator in the general assembly are decided by the senate, and contests for the office of representative in the general assembly are decided by the house of representatives." In paperwork filed in connection with the case, Steakley contends that voting machines were tampered with and that the tampering would have affected the outcome of the race, which he lost by less than 200 votes.  Election officials have already certified the results and say the numbers are accurate.  Steakley is asking that the state Senate declare him the winner of the race, or -- in the alternative -- order another election to be held. The new General Assembly will not be sworn in until January, and it's unclear if Steakley wants the current membership or the new membership to take up the issue.