On that point, O.C. Pleasant
, a Democrat, served 30 years on the Election Commission
until the recent shift.
"If you go back and look at the history of voting in Shelby County and in the city of Memphis, you'll find that the reason the change was made to the lever machines from paper ballots (in the 1950s) was because of all of the fraud and abuse that occurred with the use of paper ballots," Pleasant
"I think that to go back to paper ballots is a step backwards and does not lend itself to having fair and honest elections."
24 years as chairman of the Election Commission
, the lever machines gave way to electronic voting machines in 1985, and those machines were replaced in 2006 for Election Day use by the current touch screen voting machines.
Then-Memphis Congressman Harold Ford Sr., a fellow Democrat, publicly and loudly berated Pleasant as both stood in front of live television cameras.
was explaining a delay in the vote count and a change in procedure in which absentee ballots were counted after the Election Day votes instead of before, which was usually the practice and has remained the practice since.
As questions about the close election continued, Pleasant
had the regular audit of results sped up while still giving Hackett's campaign a chance to contest them.
"I'll miss it," Pleasant
said of his
"But I feel like I have accomplished some of the objectives that I hoped to accomplish when I went on the commission."
called on the new Election Commission
to put more pressure on voting systems manufacturers to include an audit trail that will print out a receipt of sorts for voters who request it, showing their selections.
pushed for such a feature on the current voting system.
"Somebody said that the feature was not available," Pleasant
For years, Pleasant
has talked about one continuous two-week voting period that would end on Election Day.
Currently, a gap exists between the early voting period and Election Day.
"I think we'll see it," Pleasant