The Crossville CrossoverThe controversy over a crossover voter in Cumberland County shows that Tennessee needs clarification in our laws concerning voting in primaries:
The reality is that until we close primaries in Tennessee, we’ll have people crossing over depending on what county they may be in and that area's history of domination in local offices by one party or the other. I’ve had Republicans in West Tennessee admit to me that they have voted in Democratic primaries when they felt that doing so was their only voice in who was elected. I know that Democrats here in Jefferson County do this because people in my community have admitted to me that they vote in the Republican Primary even though they personally consider themselves Democrats because the candidate they know can get elected (and that they often support) is running as a Republican.
Either we need to require party registration (which I strongly favor), or-if the Legislature doesn’t take that step-the “loyalty” provisions of the law need to be removed. We can’t have an election law regarding primaries that literally says two different things, and party leadership that encourages crossover voting (as Tennessee Republican Chairman Chris Devaney did in his quote on the whole affair) while they know that candidates can still legally question those votes.
I personally despise crossover voting. I have never in my life voted in a Democratic Primary, because I am not a Democrat and I do not believe that it is my place to try and sabotage the nominating processes of a political party by voting in their primary when I do not support that party-I believe that to do so is ethically and morally wrong.