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.
Tennessee’s newest restriction on abortions saw two major — and opposing — developments Monday.
Both Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi have been holding in-person events in the middle of a pandemic, with just one month until the August primary. They’re vying to become the GOP nominee in the race for the U.S. Senate.
After hearing impassioned speeches from Black lawmakers, the Tennessee State Capitol Commission voted for the first time to remove the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest. And, in a last-minute vote, the group also voted to take out two other military figures from the Capitol’s second floor.
Gov. Bill Lee said on Wednesday afternoon that the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the state Capitol should be moved to the Tennessee State Museum. “Forrest represents pain and suffering and brutal crimes committed against African Americans,” Lee told reporters. “That pain is very real for many Tennesseans.”
For the first time, Tennessee’s State Capitol Commission is likely to vote for the removal of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest. The monument to the Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan grand wizard has been inside the building since 1978.
Tennessee officials are expected to take the first step toward removing the bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from inside the Capitol. Gov. Bill Lee says he will convene the State Capitol Commission to meet and vote next week.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in Tennessee continue rising, state officials are again stressing the importance of wearing masks. On Wednesday, the state reported 1,806 new cases of coronavirus. Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey told reporters that the growth cannot be attributed to just more testing.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision is being described as a “small victory” for abortion rights supporters in Tennessee, and it’s causing a leading anti-abortion group to call for a reset on opponents’ strategy.
Gov. Bill Lee has extended Tennessee’s state of emergency for two more months. The original order was set to expire tomorrow.