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Tennessee sued over voter registration law

Six groups, including a Memphis-based law firm, filed suit this week challenging Tennessee’s new third-party voter registration law, contending it violates “fundamental” constitutional rights with the threat of civil and criminal penalties.

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Groups claim new voter registration law ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘burdensome’

The complaint alleges that the law imposes burdensome requirements on persons and organizations who seek to help people register to vote, violates fundamental rights of free speech, free association, the right to vote, and due process. The suit was filed on behalf of the Tennessee State Conference of the NAACP, Democracy Nashville-Democratic Communities, The Equity Alliance, and The Andrew Goodman Foundation, all of whom engage in voter registration activities. The law requires individuals or organizations participating in voter registration drives to comply with pre-registration, training, and affirmation requirements or face criminal and civil penalties ranging in the tens of thousands of dollars.

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Tennessee Sued Over Crackdown on Voter Drives

The ink from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s pen on a new state law had barely dried before four civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging the new regulations for voter registration drives. The groups say the law that is scheduled to take effect in Oct. 1 – about a year out from the 2020 presidential election – is vague, violates First and 14th Amendment rights and hands down draconian civil and criminal penalties for any group found violating its provisions.

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