AP NEWS

Tennessee closed primary bill GOP backers voted in Dem races

March 7, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two Republican Tennessee lawmakers sponsoring a bill to limit primary elections to registered party voters have each voted in a Democratic primary.

The Tennessean reports that Rep. Andy Holt voted in a May 2006 local Democratic primary and Sen. Joey Hensley voted in the August 2000 Democratic primary.

Holt said no other ballot was available when he was 24 years old and new to Weakley County.

Hensley said it was his only Democratic ballot in 45 years of voting. He said the Republican primary was uncontested and there was a Democrat in that multicandidate field he thought would be extremely detrimental to his district.

Both contended their votes illustrate the need to change the law.

Last week, a House committee rejected Holt’s bill to implement party registration and close primaries.