Felons challenge Tennessee restriction on voting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Felons blocked from voting in Tennessee because they have unpaid child support or other legal financial obligations have sued election officials.

A federal suit filed Monday in Nashville challenges the state's 2006 law that restored voting rights for people convicted of crimes if they paid all outstanding legal obligations.

The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Tennessee filed the suit on behalf of three felons.

State attorneys and Tennessee Election Coordinator Brook Thompson could not immediately be reached for comment.

The suit says the requirement is an undue financial burden and is like a poll tax. The suit also says it violates the constitutional right to vote and the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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