NAACP hopes to improve voter turnout after winning lawsuit against election commission

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The NAACP is trying to boost voter turnout after winning a lawsuit against the Shelby County Election Commission.

The suit accused the Commission of suppressing voters.

"In a democracy, one's ability to cast a ballot is the most precious thing we can offer citizens," NAACP National President Derrick Johnson said.

The suit concerns thousands of people with rejected or incomplete voter registrations who haven't been told they can fix the form and vote.

"In this day and time we want to make sure that democracy works," NAACP Tennessee President Gloria Sweet-Love said.

The judge also ordered the Commission to offer the same thing on election day. Meaning someone who has an incomplete or rejected registration could potentially fix it at the polls and cast a regular ballot.

The election commission is particularly concerned with that part of the ruling. They claim it increases the potential for voter fraud.

That's because polling places aren't connected on election day. Meaning clever people could theoretically turn in different registrations at multiple locations by changing up the address.

For this reason and others, the Commission will appeal the ruling.

The NAACP will be ready to continue the fight when that appeal is filed.

The Tennessee Black Voter Project was also a plantiff in the lawsuit. As part of the ruling, the Election Commission has to provide the project with daily lists of people with problem registrations.

The project plans on reaching out to those people to help them get registered.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.