Two Tennessee bills could change state voting requirements

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May 25, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tennessee: There are two bills in the Tennessee House and Senate which seek to change voting laws within the state. Senate Bill 5 and House Bill 10, seek to list specific requirements that voters need to produce in order to prove they are eligible to vote. Applicants to vote would need a sworn statement that says they are a legal citizen and also give proof of citizenship. This requirement is only for those new residents who are registering to vote, those that are already eligible will not need to resubmit proof. The current status of these two are in the Senate, it has been referred to Senate State & Local Governments; in the House it has been referred to the House Elections Subcommittee.[1] This law would also give a twelve year jail sentence to those who do not produce proof or who lie about their status, making the crime a felony. A recent article gave opinion on the potential bills, noting that this effort seems misplaced because Tennessee is not being flooded with undocumented workers and the legislatures makes itself out to be putting on blinders to other more important issues. It was also noted that this could very well be seen as modern disenfranchisement, making it harder for people to cast their vote due to them needing papers to prove who they are.[2]

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