Governor to weigh bill to punish voter signup missteps

Posted at 8:23 PM, Apr 29, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will soon decide the fate of legislation that could penalize paid voter registration groups with fines for too many incomplete signup forms and criminal penalties for submitting registration forms too late.

House lawmakers on Monday adopted the final changes to the bill made in the Senate last week. It now goes to Lee's desk for consideration.

The legislation creates Class A misdemeanors if, knowingly or intentionally, groups pay workers based on quotas; or enroll 100-plus voters and shirk state training or fail to ship completed forms within 10 days of registration drives or by the deadline.

Groups submitting 100-plus incomplete registrations over a year could be fined.

Opponents worry the bill will hinder Tennessee's already-low voter participation.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett backs the bill.