The "Tennessee Voter Confidence Act," which took effect Thursday, requires new voting machines that will create a paper trail for use in recounts or random spot checks.
Any new voting machines purchased after Jan. 1 must be in compliance, and all machines must be in compliance by the November 2010 general election.
A report released last year by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations showed only two of Tennessee's 95 counties keep a paper trail of voters' ballots. The report recommended all counties adopt the practice.
According to Bedford County Administrator of Elections Summer Leverette, the state is buying new voting machines for the counties, in part with the assistance of federal funds.
"The state is buying our machines," said Leverette.
There won't be any local cost for buying the new machines, but the machines will be more expensive to operate. Leverette said it will cost 36 cents each for the paper ballots, and state law requires her to have a number of ballots for each election equal to 110 percent of the number of registered voters.
Because Shelbyville has now moved its city elections to even-numbered years, there are no elections at all scheduled for 2009. State officials hope to have the new machines in place in time for the next local election in May 2010.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.