State condemned as ‘the bottom of the barrel on rights restoration’ after change by state’s division of elections

Tennessee, already one of the strictest and most complicated states in the country for voting rights restoration, has enacted a new policy that makes it nearly impossible for people with felony convictions to regain their right to vote.

Tennessee has one of the highest rates of disenfranchisement in the United States. More than 9% of the voting age population, or around 471,600 Tennesseans, can’t vote because of a felony conviction, according to a 2022 estimate by the Sentencing Project, a criminal justice non-profit. More than 21% of Black adults are disenfranchised.

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