HomeNewsHargett touts election security, importance

Hargett touts election security, importance

Tre Hargett was in Jackson on Monday, April 15, to speak to the Old Hickory Rotary Club about the security of elections in this state and the importance of voting.

“I had a conversation a couple years ago with this student at Motlow State [Community College] when I was talking to a group of students about the importance of voting,” Hargett said. “And this student felt like her vote didn’t matter and there was no point to it, and she said she didn’t think she would vote.

“And I said good. She looked at me like I had two heads because she wasn’t expecting me to be agreeable with her, but here’s what I told her. If she and I both decide to vote and we disagree, then we cancel our votes out. If we do agree, then we double our voting efforts. So either way her voice is heard and so is mine. But if she decides not to vote, but I do, then that just means my vote means a little more because her vote doesn’t get cast, so she allows me and everyone else who will vote to make decisions about our local, state and federal leadership. So she can vote or not, but I’m OK with it either way.”

As the Secretary of State for Tennessee, Hargett actually isn’t OK with it professionally because he said he wants the will of the people of this state to be heard, and he wants the will of the people of each county to be heard.

“But not many of us are showing up for our will to be heard,” Hargett said. “So that means there’s a small minority of the total people in our state or county who are making decisions that will affect us all for years.

“So please, get out to vote. Encourage those around you to vote. These elections are our right and our duty as citizens of this country.”

Hargett did acknowledge that one big reason many Tennesseans don’t vote is because of a lack of trust in the system and its integrity.

“I was on the phone for 35 minutes with this woman answering every question she had about the security of elections in Tennessee,” Hargett said about a call he took in 2020 in the days after the Presidential election had happened and votes in Georgia were still being counted. “And at the end of the conversation, she said, ‘Thank you. You’ve been very nice to me, but I still don’t believe you.’

“And at that point, all I could tell her was there’s someone that she does believe. So she needs to look that person up, call them and get her questions answered. Because all I could tell her was the truth.”

Hargett said election machines in Tennessee are not connected to the internet. They don’t have the capability to be connected to the internet. He said early votes that are cast aren’t tabulated until Election Day, so there’s no way to know how early voting is going so the election administrator or anyone in the election commission department could let anyone know how they’re doing.

“So anytime you hear someone tell you that we’re doing that – whoever ‘we’ is – it’s not happening because it can’t happen,” Hargett said. “Tennessee was rated the most secure in elections the past two years, and we’re expecting it to happen again this year.

“That comes from the Heritage Foundation that looks at all 50 states and puts us up against each other. Our elections are secure, and our citizens should take advantage of the opportunity to exercise their right to vote because of it.”

After his appearance at Rotary, Hargett traveled to Trinity Christian to present the student government association an award for getting every eligible student registered to vote.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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