Savilla said he opposes proposals for voting by Internet and mail and same-day voter registration.
"[Internet voting] is absolutely a terrible idea," Savilla told Gazette editors. "We're taking something and running with it, when we don't need to run with it."
Savilla also criticized Tennant for a "long history of decision-making challenges where she's fallen short."
Savilla said Tennant's office should not have allowed former Sen. Frank Deem, R-Wood, on the May primary ballot. The state Supreme Court ordered Deem off the ballot because state election law prohibits having more than one state senator from one county in multicounty state Senate districts. Tennant has said it was up to the courts to decide Deem's eligibility.
Savilla also criticized Tennant for "doing nothing" to prevent future cases of convicted felons appearing on the statewide presidential ballot, as inmate Keith Judd did in the Democratic primary for president. Tennant has said that Judd met all legal requirements to secure a spot on the ballot.
Savilla said West Virginia should follow Virginia's lead and require signatures for presidential candidates.
"We don't need to make it overly difficult, but we do need to make sure there's a safeguard," he said.
If elected, Savilla said he would cut management positions in the secretary of state's office, but he declined to give an exact number.
"It will be a significantly smaller office, but more productive," Savilla said. "I don't need as many helpers as she needs."
Savilla, who spent the past two years in the Legislature as a member of the minority party, said he didn't have many accomplishments to talk about.
But Savilla said he was proud to spark a debate on school discipline, after he introduced a bill to restore corporal punishment in schools. The bill went nowhere. West Virginia outlawed paddling in schools in 1994.
"It started a discussion," Savilla said. "My goal in life is to get people to think."
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.