Online voter registration comes to Tennessee

The Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office has initiated what WPLN calls a “soft launch”of a system that allows Tennesseans to register as voters online, as authorized under a law enacted by the Legislature in 2016 that took effect July 1 of this year.

While the registration website is up and apparently functioning, HERE, an official announcement won’t come for a week or so, says The Tennessean. A majority of other states already have online voter registration.

From WPLN:

Up until now, Tennesseans who move, have their registrations purged for inactivity, or have never been registered have had to contact their county election commissions directly or sign up in person through one of six state agencies.

The online system passed the state legislature last year with bipartisan support. State Sen. Lee Harris, D-Memphis, was among its sponsors. He hopes it’ll help reverse a trend toward lower voter participation.

“People can just go online and register, and they can do it, I’ve been told, in three minutes or less. So I think it’s going to be a boon to Tennessee.”

Voters are required to register at least 30 days prior to an election to take part. Registrants must have a Tennessee driver’s license or photo ID to complete the process online.

A comment from Hargett, via The Tennessean: “This system meets people where they already are: online… It will improve accuracy and efficiency for voters and election officials by ensuring there are fewer errors and more accurate voter rolls.”

Note: The bill was approved unanimously in both the House and Senate as HB1742 last year with Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, and Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston, as sponsors.

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