State Representative Tim Rudd's (R-Murfreesboro) legislation to protect Tennessee's elections from fraud and abuse passed the House of Representatives with strong support Monday night.
House Bill 1079 requires a person or organization that plans to conduct a registration drive that attempts to collect 100 or more voter registration forms and pays individuals to collect the voter registration forms to register with the Coordinator of Elections and receive training prior to conducting the drive.
This measure makes violations a Class A misdemeanor for each offense, which requires an individual or organization to intentionally violate provisions.It also allows the State Election Commission to assess civil penalties to persons/organizations submitting a high number of deficient forms.
As amended, House Bill 1079 only applies to a person or organization who pays individuals to collect voter registration forms. The bill would not apply to individuals or organizations who collect forms using only unpaid volunteers, like Boy Scouts, churches, or college SGAs.
"House Bill 1079 will protect the security and integrity of our elections by cracking down on fraud and abuse, like we saw in Shelby County last election cycle," said Representative Rudd. "It is important for every Tennessean to vote, but we must ensure voter registration is done in a responsible manner. This bill will ensure applicants are timely filed and our election process is not compromised. I am pleased this legislation passed the House with strong support, and I urge the Senate to support this important measure."
The full text of House Bill 1079 can be found by clicking here. The Senate sponsored legislation, SB 971, recently passed the Senate State & Local Government Committee.
Tim Rudd represents House District 34. He is the chairman of the Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee. Representative Rudd also serves on the Insurance Committee, the Local Committee, and the Property & Casualty Subcommittee.