Group Sues to Extend Voting in Tornado-Hit Tennessee

Storm damage closed 21 polling stations
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2020 12:11 AM CST
Group Sues to Extend Voting in Tornado-Hit Tennessee
People wait to vote on Super Tuesday in the gymnasium at Cleveland Park Community Center, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(Newser) – Advocates have filed a lawsuit in Tennessee seeking to extend Super Tuesday voting until Friday. Hours before polls opened, tornadoes killed at least 24 people in parts of the state including Nashville. The suit filed by the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law states that storm damage affected three counties, including Davidson County, where 21 polling stations were closed, the Washington Post reports. "An untold number of these counties’ residents who wish to exercise their right to vote are being required to do so today, notwithstanding that they have limited ability to leave their homes (and indeed have been advised to remain in place), must contend with downed power lines, debris and other dangerous conditions if they do attempt to travel to a polling location," the lawsuit states.

Voters whose polling places were closed by storm damage were sent to other locations where they encountered long lines. In Davidson County, which includes Nashville, the Democratic Party and the Sanders, Biden, Warren, and Bloomberg campaigns successfully sued to extend voting for three hours after the 7pm cutoff, the AP reports. The Lawyers' Committee, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the NAACP and three voters whose homes were destroyed by tornadoes, says the extension wasn't long enough to ensure fair access to voting. (Read more Tennessee stories.)

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