Tennessee House OKs bill to penalize voter signup group woes

Apr 16, 2019

Credit tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee proposal to penalize some voter registration groups with fines for too many faulty signups and criminal charges for violating new requirements has cleared the House.

Monday's vote bucked some voting rights groups, who fear a chilling effect on Tennessee's already-low turnout.

It next heads to the Senate floor.

The bill creates class A misdemeanors if, knowingly or intentionally, groups enrolling 100-plus voters have quota-based pay; shirk state training; or don't ship completed forms within 10 days of registration drives or by the deadline.

Groups submitting 100-plus deficient registrations could face fines.

The bill applies to groups with paid workers. Grant funding could count.

Republican Secretary of State Tre Hargett's office supports the bill, pointing to Tennessee Black Voter Project's submission of about 10,000 Shelby County registrations on last year's deadline, many filled out incorrectly.