TN Law on voter registration fraud faces local and statewide opposition

Local Elections

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – A new Tennessee law that aims to cut down on voter registration fraud is being met with growing opposition.

The law adds restrictions and penalties for paid groups that work to register voters that submit at least 100 incomplete voter registration forms. Incomplete factors could include missing birth dates, social security numbers, or inaccuracies of information.

A recent federal court filing asks a judge to block the law before it takes effect this October.

While supporters believe the new law helps with election security, opponents like the NAACP said it creates hurdles when registering voters.

Dr. Earle Fischer, founder of #UpTheVote901, agrees with recent efforts to push back.

“I think that they are right to resist anything that would make it more difficult for people to have equitable access to the ballot boxes,” he said.

The law was in response to the 10,000 Shelby County registration forms that were dropped off by the Tennessee Black Voter Project on the registration deadline day last year. A good chunk were considered incomplete and some factious.

Linda Phillips with election commission spoke about the incident afterward.

“It’s very important to us that every voter get to vote, but it’s equally important that somebody who is not eligible does not vote, and we found over 1300 felons that tried to register with this project,” she previously said.

Phillips had said it cost the state $200,000 to go through all the forms to ensure they were legitimate to count.

“Voter fraud is so minuscule and irrelevant and is not a problem at all, so anybody trying to tout a notion of voter fraud is basically trying to bait and switch and trying to move people through the more critical issue. Which is how do we get more people involved in the political process?” Fisher said.

While in opposition of the law, Fisher said it won’t hinder their work. #UpTheVote901 registers voters with his preferred method, online, so that no portions can be left blank and consider incomplete.

“It’s the people in the community that ultimately will be second guessing and that is what is burdensome to us,” Fisher said.

Read more about how registration groups want the law blocked HERE.

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