Voting During the Pandemic: How Tennessee Elections are Adapting to Covid-19 (October 2020)

Tennessee voters casting ballots in person saw a number of enhanced safety measures at polling places, and more Tennesseans were eligible to cast absentee ballots. This brief highlights the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on Tennessee elections in 2020.

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Voting During the Pandemic: Temporarily Expanding Absentee Voting Will Protect Tennessee Voters (May 2020)

The Covid-19 pandemic altered the way states administer elections, with many waiving excuses to vote absentee. This brief advocates for Tennessee lawmakers to similarly call Covid-19 as a valid excuse for voters to vote absentee in 2020.

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State of Our State: Rights Restoration (2019)

Developed in partnership with Americans for Prosperity and Project Return, this policy brief addresses the state of rights restoration in Tennessee—which bars a higher rate of people with felony convictions from voting than nearly any other state.

In addition to describing the unprecedented challenges people with felony convictions face when trying to restore their right to vote, the brief highlights the potential benefits of rights restoration, including cost savings for taxpayers and reductions in recidivism rates. It also outlines a spectrum of policy solutions that could help Tennesseans reenter society more successfully.

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State of Our State: Redistricting (2019)

Nearly 60 years after handing down its decision in Baker v. Carr, the Tennessee case that paved the way for the “one person, one vote” standard, the Supreme Court in June 2019 declined to set limits on partisan gerrymandering, leaving decisions about how to draw legislative districts squarely with the states.

This brief provides an overview of Tennessee’s current redistricting process and outlines a spectrum of policy options that would increase citizen engagement and avoid costly litigation.

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Women in the Electorate Fact Sheet (2019)

Tennessee women outnumber men in both voter registration and turnout. But this power in the voting booth does not translate to power in elected office: Women in Tennessee hold far fewer seats in legislative, judicial and executive offices than in most other states.

Once a Trailblazer of Women’s Voting Rights, Tennessee Now Trails Nation in Women’s Political Representation

August 18 marks the 99th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The date is an important civic milestone in America’s history, but especially here in Tennessee, which was the final and decisive state to vote in favor of the amendment’s adoption, providing millions of women across the country access to the ballot box for the very first time.

Today, Tennessee women outnumber men in both voter registration and turnout. But this power in the voting booth does not translate to power in elected office: Women in Tennessee hold far fewer seats in legislative, judicial and executive offices than in most other states.

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State of Our State: Elections and Civic Life (2018)

This policy brief addresses election modernization and security efforts, both inside and outside of the state, from voter-verified paper audit trails to Secure Electronic Transfer of voter registration information.

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Election Security Survey (2018)

ThinkTennessee commissioned a statewide survey of 700 likely Tennessee voters. The live-interview telephone survey was conducted Jan. 23-25, 2018 by Revily Insights.

The results underscore the need to implement modern policies and procedures to protect the integrity and security of Tennessee’s physical and digital election infrastructure.

During the 2020 legislative session, the Tennessee General Assembly passed new bills related to election security and voter registration drives. See ThinkTennessee’s summary of these new laws here.

Full results from the data are available from Revily.

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Civic Infrastructure Survey (2018)

A 2018 Voter Engagement Survey finds gaps in Tennessee’s civic infrastructure. 68% of Tennesseans say too few people voting is a major problem and a majority of voters unsure about voting eligibility requirements.

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