By Joshua Wagner

By almost any metric, Tennessee’s record when it comes to participation in elections is among the most dismal in the country. According to MIT’s Election Performance Indicators, Tennessee was ranked 48th in voter turnout and 44th in voter registration in 2016, a systematic problem which pervades local, state, and federal elections. This is in no small part thanks to the state’s relatively restrictive voting laws. It seemed like Tennessee’s registration numbers would take another hit earlier this year when the state legislature passed HB1079, which would have seriously hindered the work of groups encouraging voter registration. However, voting rights interests and organizers of registration drives dodged a bullet when a federal court granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the law. Continue reading