The county election commission is charged with the general duty of encouraging wider participation in the electoral process. Generally these duties involve the selection of the administrator of elections and then assistance with the following responsibilities of that office: approving an annual budget for the commission, approving purchases of voting machines and seeing to their maintenance, hiring legal counsel, designating polling places and precinct boundaries, and assisting in obtaining poll workers. Additionally, the commission must ensure the fairness and smooth functioning of elections by certifying voting machines, taking responsibility for absentee ballot boxes, assisting election personnel on election day, certifying election results and election expenses, determining a uniform time for the opening of polls, and maintaining the security of the election commission office and facilities. T.C.A. § 2-12- 116.
At least quarterly, during a county election commission meeting, a county election commission member of the majority and the minority party shall inspect random voter registration forms accepted by the county election commission since the previous inspection. T.C.A. § 2-2-120. If a deficiency is found, the deficiency must be recorded and a written report must be prepared including the name of the administrator at the time the voter registration form was filed, the nature of the deficiency, and whether the individual has voted since the deficient form was filed and accepted. The report must be filed with the state coordinator of elections. If a significant number of deficient voter registration forms are discovered, then the administrator of elections may be subject to discipline by the state election commission or may be terminated by the county election commission. T.C.A. § 2-2-120.