ACLU-TN Comment on House Passage of Voter Registration Drive Bill
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today the Tennessee House voted to pass HB 1079, legislation that creates a list of requirements that groups must meet in order to hold voter registration drives in Tennessee. The measure imposes civil and criminal penalties on individuals and organizations for failing to meet the requirements.
Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee executive director, had the following comment in response.
“Tennessee already has one of the lowest voter registration rates in the country and this burdensome voter suppression legislation would set our state back even further. No other state imposes civil and criminal penalties on individuals, nonprofits, churches, businesses, student clubs, universities and others for submitting forms from registration drives that are deficient in some way. The threat of such penalties will chill efforts to register Tennessee voters from across the political spectrum. Legislators should focus on supporting legislation that will engage eligible voters — not on creating barriers to voter registration drives in our state. This legislation inhibits civic engagement, which is critical to advancing our democracy. We urge members of the Senate to vote against this deeply troubling legislation.”
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