State of Elections

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Tag: Tennessee

Voting Rights Groups can Breathe a Sigh of Relief After Federal Court Blocks Strict Voter Registration Law in Tennessee

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

Flip and Flop: Federal judge lifts Michigan state law banning “Ballot Selfies,” but Sixth Circuit reverses four days later

By: Angela M. Evanowski

On October 24, 2016, famous singer and actor Justin Timberlake found himself in trouble after posting a “ballot selfie” on his two social media accounts, Twitter and Instagram. Timberlake, who is registered to vote in Tennessee, flew from California to his home voting county and posted the selfies in order to encourage millennials and fans to vote. However, to the surprise of Timberlake, the state of Tennessee earlier this year passed a law banning voters from taking photographs or videos during the voting process. Luckily, for this famous former boy-band member, he is not going to face any criminal charges or punishment for posting his ballot selfies. Continue reading

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