January 24, 2022 6:00am

National election standards needed but state, local procedures are secure, poll shows

Can the Titans pull it off? Maybe ...

Photo of Chris Vass
Chattanooga, TN Correspondent
 

A solid majority of Chattanooga Power Poll members think federal election standards are needed, according to a new survey.

Power Poll members were asked: “Do you think standardized federal election laws are needed?” Of those who responded, 60% said “yes” and 40% said “no.”

The survey results come as voting rights reform legislation failed this week in Washington, a disappointment to about half the country and a relief to the other half, depending on your political persuasion.

Local activist and retired educator Franklin McCallie, founder of Chattanooga Connected, offered a thoughtful response to what many see as increasing efforts to restrict voting as opposed to finding ways to expand voting:

“When local, state, or nationally elected lawmakers want to fashion rules, requirements, or laws which are meant to bar American citizens from their right to vote, our beloved democracy faces a mighty challenge and the possibility of a death blow,” he wrote.

But here’s an interesting twist: Power Poll members by an even larger margin believe Tennessee and Hamilton County’s election processes are rock solid.

Asked “How confident are you that Tennessee’s (and Hamilton County’s) election processes are secure and fair?,” a whopping 76% said “very confident” while 22% said “somewhat confident.” Another 2% said “not confident.”

However, the issue isn’t dead just yet. Federal lawmakers — in a bipartisan fashion — are working on as many as four different proposals to reform/clarify the Electoral Count Act, a seeming nod to the need to craft something that they can tout to constituents later this election year.

The January poll, conducted Monday through Thursday, surveyed 149 Power Poll members. There were 82 responses from various business, community and government leaders for a 55% response rate.

While the Power Poll is not a scientific poll, it does offer interesting insights into what some of Chattanooga and Hamilton County’s elected leaders, business executives and community leaders think about current affairs and local issues.

Also swept up in the voting legislation was a massive debate about the filibuster and whether it is needed.

Power Poll members split on this question in an interesting way. Asked “Should the U.S. Senate do away with the filibuster?,” 24% said “yes”; 39% said “no” and 37% said the filibuster should be reformed.

Nick Decosimo, a senior adviser at Decosimo Corporate Finance, recalled the words of one of America’s favorite poets to make his point:

“As Robert Frost wrote, ‘Nothing gold can stay.’ Perhaps the filibuster is too mundane for the reference, but it has been a unique aspect of the Senate that has set it apart from other deliberative bodies. Anyway, its loss would be one more harbinger of cultural entropy.”

And finally, with all of the hard news swirling around, isn’t it grand to have an awesome weekend of football lined up?

Power Pollers weren’t all that optimistic that the two-tone blues would ultimately prevail in a Super Bowl match-up, but a healthy 39% thought the Titans could go all the way.

The survey asked: “Do you think the Tennessee Titans will reach the Super Bowl and if so, will they win the Big One?”

While 39% said yes to the two-part question, another 24% said the team will make it but lose in the Super Bowl on Feb. 13. And more than a third – at 37% — don’t think this is the year for the Titans to make it to the championship game.

Let’s see what Coach of the Year contender Mike Vrabel and King Henry do on Saturday. Titan Up!

Contact Chris Vass, public editor of the Times Free Press, at cvass@powerpoll.com or cvass@timesfreepress.com.

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