Press release from State Senator Jim Kyle, D-Memphis; September 28, 2012:
NASHVILLE – Voter participation in Tennessee is critically low, and the barriers to voting are too high, Senate Democratic leader Jim Kyle said Friday.
“What’s the difference between a farmer in Iowa and a farmer in Tennessee? A farmer in Iowa can vote for president today,” Kyle said.
Early voting has already started in Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Vermont and Virginia. Tennessee starts Oct. 17.
Only five states have lower voter participation than Tennessee, according to a Sept. 10 study by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. It recommends that state elections officials study a method for voters residing at a temporary residence to vote in statewide elections.
The report also looks at ways other states have modernized their elections with new methods for voting. Eight states allow same-day registration, others allow voting by mail and even voting by email, which is especially convenient for military personnel overseas.
“Tennessee, unfortunately, has instead set up new barriers making it harder to vote,” Kyle said. “On top of that, problems with county balloting systems are raising questions about the integrity of our elections.”
View the complete TACIR study here.