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Davidson Co. election commission fires administrator

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

The Davidson County Election Commission voted to terminate Election Administrator Albert Tieche during a special meeting Thursday.

The 4-1 vote came during a contentious one-hour meeting that included a commissioner stepping down in protest over the dismissal.

The commission met to address controversy surrounding the Aug. 2, 2012, primary.

A state report said the problems included failing to open the polls on a Saturday during early voting; machines that sometimes defaulted to the Republican ballot during the primary; and shortages of poll workers, printed forms, parking and phone lines on Election Day.

Tieche said he would release a statement sometime in the future, but added a note of thanks to those who worked at polls during the most recent general election.

"I want to thank all of those poll officials who worked so hard in November even though we were so short-handed," Tieche said.

Also during the meeting, Commissioner Jim Gotto, who was appointed to serve on the commission last month, offered his resignation and criticized others for seemingly fast-tracking the firing of Tieche. Gotto told the commission's chairman that he had lost his "respect and trust."

Deputy Elections Administrator Joan Nixon has been named interim director.

Advocates with the public interest group, Tennessee Citizen Action, said last year that the mix-up over voting machines can be traced to new electronic poll books.

In August 2012, the group called for an investigation into the primary after several prominent Democrats were given Republican ballots.

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