State: Tennessee counties all have updated mail voting info

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s elections coordinator says all 95 counties have updated their websites or written materials to reflect a judge’s ruling that every eligible voter can choose to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.

Elections Coordinator Mark Goins confirmed the updates by counties Wednesday in a court filing ordered by Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle. That includes updated written materials from 12 counties without election commission websites.

Last month, Lyle ordered Goins to tell counties to update their information after plaintiffs attorneys named 20 counties with absentee request forms or other website mentions that didn’t correctly reference COVID-19 as a reason to vote absentee. Those 20 counties displayed updated websites shortly after.

Earlier this week, Lyle ordered an update from Goins, saying it was “still unknown” whether counties were complying.

Lyle ordered the expansion during the pandemic last month. The state is appealing the ruling.

Tennessee officials have indicated they still plan to enforce a requirement that first-time voters who register by mail cast their ballots in person. A separate federal lawsuit is challenging that absentee voting requirement and two others.

Nashville election officials, for one, have told new voters they can vote by mail if they show their ID at the election commission office.

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