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Election commission, county commissioners to discuss aging voting machines

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We may see some political fireworks today as the Shelby County Election Commission meets with Shelby County Commissioners Wednesday morning. The election commission wants to buy new voting machines, but money for the project was not included in Mayor Lee Harris’ capital improvement budget.

Shelby County has been using the same voting machines since 2006. The election commission said they are nearing the end of their life-cycle and members hope to replace them in two years.

Before Harris took office Shelby County leaders promised $5 million for the project. In a statement, Harris said he plans to delay the investment while the two sides negotiate.

“We may be able to use the power of the purse to persuade the election commission to consider some much-needed improvements… including the importance of early voting, voter registration and timely reporting of election results.”

Election Administrator Linda Phillips said “Shelby County voters should have new machines” and that it “makes no sense to delay the process.”

Members of the election commission are set to meet with county commissioners Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

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