New law actually a boost – not a blow – to election integrity

Thursday, May 9, 2019
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

voter casting a ballotA public policy analyst admits being baffled why anyone would challenge a law aimed at guaranteeing voter integrity.

Last week, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) signed into law House Bill 1079, GOP-backed legislation that would fine voter registration groups for turning in too many incomplete signup forms. The secretary of state had noted that many of the 10,000 registrations submitted in and around Memphis last year by the Tennessee Black Voter Project on the last day of registering were filled out incorrectly, creating difficulties for local officials. But Tennessee's NAACP chapter and other groups immediately sued the state, claiming that the new law would suppress minority voting.

Abraham Hamilton III is general counsel and public policy analyst for the Mississippi-based American Family Association.

"When you have existing laws that allow for thousands and thousands of voter registration forms to be dropped literally on Election Day and force the county to consider those to be viable voter registration, it just seems to me a system that's fraught with abuses," he tells OneNewsNow.

The policy analyst says it "baffles" him when people decry efforts to protect the integrity of elections and "somehow present that as some sort of voter suppression effort."

Hamilton

"… It would seem [to me] it's the exact opposite [of voter suppression]," he shares. "[I would argue] that by instituting regulations and policies that would protect the integrity of those elections, it would seem to boost the efforts of those who want to participate."

Nevertheless, Hamilton applauds the state of Tennessee for passing the legislation.

"Because we need to tighten up our elections," he continues. "You have ballot harvesting going on in California; you have things going on in Arizona; you have things going on all across the country. I think [this law] is a step in the right direction for the state of Tennessee."

As for the legal challenges to HB 1079, Republican House Speaker Glen Casada responded with a brief statement: "They'll lose." And in reference to the thousands of last-minute registrations in Memphis, the governor said he signed the bill after what he cited as "actual circumstances that were meant to … create a lack of integrity in the voting process." (See related article)


Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.

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