Judge Orders Tennessee to Provide its 4.1 million Registered Voters With Mail-in Voting

A Davidson County judge on Thursday ruled that the state of Tennessee must provide its 4.1 million registered voters with a mail-in voting option, in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

State attorneys had argued this was infeasible, despite the fact that most states offer less restrictive and more expansive use of absentee ballots. In her order, Lyle wrote “the evidence does not support” the state’s claim that it is “impossible” to provide expanded access to voting by mail.

“In this time of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and its contagion in gatherings of people, almost all states – both Republican and Democrat – are providing their citizens the health protection of a voting by mail option,” Lyle wrote. “This includes southern states such as Alabama, South Carolina and Arkansas, and Tennessee‘s neighboring state of Kentucky and nearby West Virginia. The governors, state officials and legislators in those states have spearheaded efforts to expand access to voting by mail to protect the health of their citizens during the pandemic.”

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