Election officials in Tennessee have now changed their position on who they deem eligible to vote absentee. The state made its revelation Thursday at a state Supreme Court hearing, after previously resisting expanded mail-in voting.
Over 17,000 people in Davidson County have already voted absentee. The deadline to request this ballot for the August primary election is Thursday, and county officials expect more will sign up. But, many registered voters still have worries about the process.
Tennessee was ordered to dramatically expand access to absentee voting last month to protect people from the coronavirus. But as early voting begins tomorrow, the state says that first-time voters still must verify their identities in person before requesting a mail-in ballot.
A Nashville court has given Tennessee election officials until the end of business Friday to follow an order handed down a week ago related to absentee voting during the pandemic. And Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle expressed her frustration during Thursday’s hearing.
Tennessee Democratic lawmakers are celebrating a recent ruling that could allow universal absentee voting in the state. And they are pushing back against Republicans claiming the judge is legislating from the bench.