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State wins contentious Tennessee 2020 absentee voting case on appeal

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nashville.gov
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal appeals court panel has reinstated a Tennessee law requiring first-time voters in the state to appear in person to vote.

A split 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel overturned a lower court’s ruling that blocked the restriction on absentee voting ahead of the 2020 general election.

Judge Julia Smith Gibbons reasoned in part that the COVID-19 pandemic is “unlikely to pose a serious threat during the next election cycle.” In dissent, Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote that it’s hard to tell how the pandemic will evolve over months and years.

The law requires first-time voters to vote in person or show ID at the local election office to vote by mail.

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