Burned by close primary, Memphis lawmaker pitches reforms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. A state representative is drawing on her own election experience to draft a series of election law reforms.

Memphis Democrat Henri Brooks lost a state Senate primary race to Ophelia Ford by 20 votes last year.

Tennessee has no provision for an automatic recount in close elections. Her only hope was to appeal to the state Democratic Executive Committee, which rejected her challenge.

The House Elections Subcommittee approved three of Brooks' bills last week, and three others are scheduled to be taken up this week.

At the center of her package is a recount bill which would require all votes to be recounted if the margin between the top two candidates were within one-half of one percent of the total votes cast.

Another bill deals with notifying voters of district changes.

Brooks says she received numerous complaints from people confused by the 2002 redistricting.

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