Republican lawmakers shot down an effort to allow every Tennessee voter to vote by mail.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, District 55, would have expanded Tennessee’s absentee voter rules, which currently limit voting by mail to 14 separate and somewhat random qualifications.
The Republican-controlled subcommittee would not even allow the bill to be heard.
Clemmons’ vote-by-mail bill would have simplified state law by eliminating the patchwork of exemptions — and likely would have boosted Tennessee’s dismal voter turnout. In the 2018 Midterm Election, Tennessee ranked 45th for voter participation in the U.S. (44.7% of the eligible voting age population).
Rep. Clemmons on Twitter before and after the subcommittee meeting:
Who killed the vote-by mail bill:
No member of the House Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee supported the bill, March 6:
Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro, District 34
Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, District 29
Rep. John Crawford, R-Kingsport, District 1
Rep. Yusuf Hakeem, D-Chattanooga, District 28
Rep. Rick Tillis, R-Lewisberg, District 92