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ACLU sues Tennessee over criminalizing voter signup problems

May 9, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee is facing another challenge of its new law that would fine and potentially jail voter registration workers who don’t follow new rules.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Campaign Legal Center and Fair Elections Center sued in federal court Thursday, representing the League of Women Voters of Tennessee and four other groups. Tennessee’s NAACP and others sued separately.

The law targeting paid groups takes effect in October. It is likely to make Tennessee the first state imposing fines for submitting too many incomplete registration forms.

It also outlaws paying registration workers based on quotas. It requires most groups to undergo state training and to ship completed forms within 10 days. Intentional violations are misdemeanors.

The groups say the law violates First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The secretary of state’s office declined to comment.

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