NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A move to allow everyone in Tennessee to vote by mail failed in the state legislature Wednesday.

Tennessee Republicans blocked a proposal that would have allowed mail-in ballots for people who don't want to go to a polling place for fear of contracting COVID-19. Democrats said voting by mail is the safe thing to do, given the coronavirus pandemic.

Rep. London Lamar, D-Memphis, told News4 that Gov. Bill Lee has been telling people for weeks to stay home; she said she wants people to vote from home where its safe.

On the House floor Wednesday, Lamar said rumors of fraud caused by mail-in voting are not substantiated.

"There are rumors of voter fraud; I want to dispel that right now guys. Vote by mail does not increase voter fraud," Lamar said.

Republicans said that lawmakers should leave things the way they are for now.

"There will be people who will take advantage of a system of mail-in balloting for no reason if we rush it to the presses," said Rep. William Lamberth, R-Portland.

The vote by mail amendment didn't pass, but the issue could end up being decided by a judge anyway.

A temporary injunction hearing was held on Wednesday afternoon via teleconference in Davidson County Chancery Court. A ruling is expected to be issued on Thursday.

 
 
 
 
 

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