Statement on U.S. Senate Rules Committee Hearing about Election Preparations in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, TN – The U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration held a hearing today about 2020 general election preparations. Witnesses included Secretary of State Tre Hargett.  

“Any time Tennessee can be part of a national conversation about election preparations, that’s a good thing. And we heard today that many voters at our state’s Early Vote locations reported having a positive experience, which is a testament to our hardworking local election officials,” said Shanna Singh Hughey, president of ThinkTennessee

“Our concern is for those voters who don’t feel comfortable casting their ballots in person, who could lose their ability to vote absentee this year if the State’s court appeal is successful. In the state that last presidential election ranked #49 for voter turnout, we believe all registered voters should have the opportunity to cast their ballots without risking their health,” she continued. 

The Tennessee General Assembly this spring rejected bipartisan proposals to expand absentee voting, making Tennessee one of just four states to require most primary voters to appear in person to cast their ballots. Voters brought a court challenge and are now awaiting a decision from the Tennessee Supreme Court. Millions of dollars in federal funding, some of which must be spent on coronavirus response, is available to make new investments in Tennessee elections.