Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford on Tennessee voter registration bill


LOCAL 24 NEWS … IS YOUR LOCAL ELECTION HEADQUARTERS. AND … WE’RE KEEPING YOU IN THE KNOW … WHEN IT COMES TO VOTER ISSUES … AS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS GET UNDERWAY. OTIS SANFORD … WEIGHS IN TONIGHT ON ONE BILL … TARGETING PEOPLE WHO TURN IN BAD REGISTRATION APPLICATIONS. OTIS SANFORD/REPORTIN G: NO TENNESSEAN SHOULD BE IN FAVOR OF SPENDING TAXPAYER MONEY UNNECESSARILY TO MAKE SURE THOUSANDS OF VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS ARE LEGITIMATE. BUT THERE HAS BE ANOTHER WAY OF DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE WITHOUT MAKING IT A CRIMINAL OFFENSE TO TURN IN LARGE NUMBERS OF IMPROPER FORMS. A BILL MAKING ITS WAY THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE WOULD DO JUST THAT. INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS COULD BE FINED AND POSSIBLY CHARGED WITH A MISDEMEANOR CRIME FOR TURNING IN BETWEEN 100 AND 500 DEFICIENT VOTER REGISTRATION MAKE VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVES A LOT HARDER – PARTICULARLY AMONG PEOPLE OF COLOR. AND THAT AMOUNTS TO VOTER SUPPRESSION. TENNESSEE ALREADY LAGS BEHIND MOST OTHER STATES – BOTH IN REGISTRATION RATES AND VOTER PARTICIPATION. AND WHILE IT’S PROBABLY TRUE THAT SOME GROUPS CUT CORNERS AND PUT A STRAIN ON THE LOCAL ELECTION COMMISSION, THE WAY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM IS NOT THROUGH HEFTY FINES AND JAIL TIME. ALL SIDES SHOULD BE WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE SURE THAT REGISTRATION DRIVES ARE DONE TIMELY AND PROPERLY. INSTEAD, WHAT WE HAVE NOW ARE A SECRETARY OF STATE AND REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS WHO ARE COMING ACROSS AS TRYING TO SUPPRESS THE VOTES OF MINORITIES IN TENNESSEE. THE BEST WAY TO ELIMINATE THAT PERCEPTION, IS TO PUT THIS OPPRESSIVE BILL – ON HOLD. AND THAT’S MY POINT OF VIEW. I’M

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