LWV OF TENNESSEE CONTINUES TO FOCUS ON ALL THINGS ELECTIONS
Litigation on Voter Registration Drive Regulation
At our Fall Workshop we celebrated the preliminary injunction issued in LWV of Tennessee et al v
Hargett et al.
The preliminary injunction means that the new state law which subjects voter registration
drives to civil and criminal penalties cannot go into effect until after the court rules on the lawsuit. This
means leagues across the state can continue the important work of registering voters without
threat of penalties.
In granting the preliminary injunction, the judge stated:
If the state is concerned about incomplete voter registration forms, it can devote resources to
identifying them quickly and working with voters to complete them. If it is concerned that
processing a large number of registration applications is too costly and difficult, it can make
registration simpler. And if, after that, Tennessee is still concerned about the cost, then, as
understandable as that concern may be, bearing the cost is what the Constitution requires.
Having an active and engaged electorate can cost money; not having one can cost more.
People Powered Fair Maps
LWV of Tennessee is participating in a LWVUS led 50-state effort to advocate for transparent and equitable redistricting that respects the rights of voters to choose their elected officials rather than elected officials choosing their voters. (See the complete LWVUS position on redistricting in Impact on Issues).
In Tennessee the league is advocating for a transparent redistricting process. Transparency means public hearings across the state before the maps are drawn, the redistricting committee meetings open to the public and at least a 30-day public comment period on draft maps. Leagues in Tennessee will also join the efforts to promote the passage of HR4 which modernizes the Voting Rights Act to provide tools to combat racial gerrymandering.
League of Women Voters of Tennessee is working with other groups to simplify the process for citizens re-entering civic life after incarceration to have their voting eligibility restored. In addition to having a very cumbersome paperwork process, Tennessee also ties voting eligibility to full repayment of all fines, fees and child support. While financial obligations should be met, voting eligibility should not be tied to one’s ability to pay.
There is so much going on in leagues across the state. I encourage you to participate as you are able. Please respond to action alerts from LWV of Tennessee. If you are interested in more active participation with state advocacy efforts—contact me, at [email protected]– LWV of Tennessee is always looking for more advocates!
To all league members across Tennessee: Thank you for the privilege as serving as President.
Marian Ott (she/her)