State wants suit over Tennessee voter signup law dismissed

Voting booth, Photo Date: November 5, 2012 / Cropped Photo: Lindsay D’Addato / WyoFile / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s attorney general wants a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit over a new law that allows fines and potentially jail time for voter registration workers who don’t follow new rules.

Among his arguments in a Nashville federal court filing , Attorney General Herbert Slatery says the law being challenged by Tennessee’s NAACP and others hasn’t taken effect and the plaintiffs are making claims about events that might not occur.

The law takes effect Oct. 1. Tennessee will likely be the first state imposing fines for submitting too many incomplete registration forms.

It also outlaws quota-based pay for registration workers, and requires most groups to undergo state training and ship completed forms within 10 days. Intentional violations could yield misdemeanors.

The plaintiffs argue the law violates First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

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