Groups that help register Tennessee voters could face fines or misdemeanors if they violate new restrictions in a bill advancing through the Legislature.
Republican Rep. Tim Rudd’s bill calls for class A misdemeanors if, knowingly or intentionally, workers are paid based on voter-signup quotas; state training isn’t completed; or completed voter registration forms aren’t shipped within 10 days of registration drives.
Tennessee also could fine groups that submit 100 or more deficient voter registration forms.
State Elections Coordinator Mark Goins complained about the more than 10,000 Shelby County registrations, many filled out incorrectly, submitted on last year’s deadline by the Tennessee Black Voter Project.
Voting rights groups, Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper and other opponents call this voter suppression and say groups ranging from political parties to churches could be harmed.