Suit: Tennessee makes it too hard to restore voting rights

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A voter fills in a ballot in the presidential primary election at the the Summit View Church of the Nazarene Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. The polling place served two precincts as voters who were scheduled to vote at a nearby senior living facility were directed to vote at the church after the facility backed out due to coronavirus concerns. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal lawsuit alleges that Tennessee’s path for restoring a felon’s right to vote has not only silenced Black voters but also contains constitutional and federal law violations.

Voter rights advocates submitted the class action complaint Thursday. They argue the state’s current process is “unequal, inaccessible, opaque, and error-ridden,” while stressing that it has resulted in a “disparate impact” on Black Tennesseans.

The legal challenge is being led by the Campaign Legal Center on behalf of the Tennessee NAACP and five Tennessee residents who have unsuccessfully attempted to restore their right to vote.

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