Just talked to a top official of the Tennessee Republican Party about reports Democrats will file suit to extend voting hours tonight. The Nashville Tennessean says Democrats will base their request on “reports of infrastructure problems.” “The party has received reports that some precincts lacked enough voting machines, voting machines that are not working, long lines and delays in the openings of polling places,” the paper says, citing a Democratic party spokesman.
Chris Devaney, executive director of the state GOP says that, as far as he knows, no suit has been filed. “We wouldn’t be surprised if they do something like that,” Devaney says. “But if they are going to file a suit, they should do so now” — and not wait until the last minute when the polls are scheduled to close at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time (7:00 p.m. in the Central Time portion of Tennessee.) As for the substance of the complaints, Devaney tells me, “Voting problems are going on all over the state. We have Republican counties where there are long lines, malfunctioning machines, etc.”
UPDATE: The Tennessee GOP has just released this statement:
Throughout the day, Congressman Harold Ford and Tennessee Democrat Party officials have intimated that they may take legal action to remedy what they wrongly believe to be substantial ballot access problems in various parts of the state.
They have failed to emphatically deny this course of action, and because of continued media inquiries to our office asking what we believe their intentions to be, we have concluded they intend to wait until the very end of polling hours to seek a legal injunction to prohibit the lawful closing of these polling locations.
As we all know, turnout today is very high, but the law requires that anyone standing in line when polls close at 8:00 p.m. eastern time has the right to cast their vote, and we embrace that.
Yet, attempting to use the legal system to thwart the will of the electorate in a way that potentially jeopardizes the individual votes of all Tennesseans is wrong.
Therefore, we call on Harold Ford and the Tennessee Democrat Party to state for the record if they intend to take legal action and to do it now.