Sohn: Contact state lawmakers today about voter suppression bills

Staff filephoto by Erin O. Smith / Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, right, shakes hands last July with then-Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp during a Georgia campaign stop at the Burr Performing Arts Park in Dalton.

You have to hand it to Tennessee's GOP: If Republicans in the General Assembly could turn back time to when women still couldn't vote and people of color were counted only as three-fifths of a person, the hands of our clocks would be turning counterclockwise at the speed of helicopter blades.

Last week, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett's office pushed a new bill that would require groups leading voter registration efforts, such as the League of Women Voters and others, to potentially face criminal misdemeanor charges and fines up to $10,000 for submitting too many - 100 or more - incomplete forms. Incomplete as in when a new registrant is reluctant to put his or her Social Security number on a form handed to a stranger.

Wait. Isn't policing the validity of all of our voter registrations the job of election commissions around the state and Hargett's secretary of state office? So Hargett now wants to delegate that policing job to the League or to a church group or to a university or to any other group that helps sign up voters?

No.