Tennessee Smashes Early Voting Records While Disqualifying Thousands of Previously Inactive Voters

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Early voters in Tennessee are showing up in record numbers for this presidential election.

According to the Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, 1,675,679 voters have either voted early or cast their absentee ballot. This number easily surpasses the 1.24 million Tennessean that voted in the March presidential primaries, which was also a record-breaking number.

This election's number of early voters has also passed the previous record of early voters in 2008 by more than 95,000.

"I'm thrilled that people are engaged and took advantage of the convenience of early voting," said Hargett in a statement released today.

The Flyer is awaiting confirmation to make sure Hargett actually meant "engaged" instead of "terrified".

Hargett may be impressed by the early voter turnout, but the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is not thrilled with Hargett's recent assertion that Tennessee has federally protected authority to "purge" voters who have not participated in prior local or national elections.

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit struck down an Ohio law that allowed for the purging of registered voters who had not participated in recent elections. Hargett has said that the Tennessee law allowing for the same end result is substantially different than the Ohio law that was struck down.

Taking a cue from Republican nominee Donald Trump's best oratorical practices, the ACLU-TN said in a letter to Hargett's office, "wrong".

"Tennessee's procedures are predicated on a person's failure to vote and will undoubtedly be found to violate the National Voter Registration Act and the Sixth Circuit Court's decision," the letter said before going on to call for the state secretary to inform county commission offices that the law is invalid in order to prevent any additional voter purges.

One broadcast news station in Nashville reported that in Davidson County, 19,000 would-be voters have been disqualified.

The ACLU-TN is asking for any Tennesseans who feel they might have been deemed ineligible to vote due to previous inactivity to contact them.






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