TN Secretary of State teams up with Grizzlies to encourage voters

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Secretary of State is hoping to get folks’ attention with a team many Memphians have a shared interest in.

Secretary Tre Hargett is teaming up with the Memphis Grizzlies in hopes of getting folks out to register to vote.

Before that, he stopped by the FOX13 studios for a one-on-one interview with Investigative Reporter Leah Jordan.

“When you’re registering to vote, you’re agreeing to put on a uniform. When you actually go to vote that’s when you get in the game,” Hargett said.

Secretary Hargett said now is the time to register to vote – and luckily for Tennesseans, he said it’s easier than ever.

“A lot of people still seem to think the only way they can register to vote is going downtown, getting a voter registration form, filling it out, and turning it in there,” he said.

While he said that’s still one way to do it, a potentially more convenient way is online at

In the fall of 2019, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Hargett. The lawsuit seeks a way to stop a new Tennessee law from going into place.

That new law would bring civil and criminal penalties to organizations that host voter registration drives but turn in incomplete applications.

FOX13 asked Hargett what he would say to those who believe that law suppresses voter registration and voting.

“I would say we’ve made it easier than ever to register to vote in our great state. So I think the people who say that have their own philosophy, they have their own agenda they are trying to pursue. We want people to register. If we didn’t want people to register, we wouldn’t be out talking about online voting registration,” Hargett said.

The lawsuit is still pending, and FOX13 investigates will continue to track it. But in the meantime, Hargett said he hopes folks at home will encourage others that their vote matters.

“If your neighbor asks you to vote, the person you go to church with, go to school with, the person you sit next to at soccer fields or baseball games,” Hargett said. “If that person in your sphere of influence encourages you to vote, you are much more likely to do it.”

Finally, Hargett told FOX13 there’s a new, national effort to ensure folks get trusted information. In fact, the hashtag is #TrustedInformation2020. He encouraged folks to look for verified sources of information, including official state websites, rather than trusting random Twitter users.