Tennessee ranks last in voter turnout. How 2 lawmakers hope to change that.

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Story by Jordan Buie, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee via The Tennessean

Tennessee ranks 40th in the nation in voter registration and last in voter turnout. More than 838,000 adult Tennesseans are not registered to vote.

In the Volunteer State, some see this as a crisis in civic duty.

Now, two lawmakers from separate political parties and branches of government have a plan to change that.

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, and state Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, have proposed Project Register, an adult-geared spinoff of a nonpartisan project the two developed a couple of years ago to get 18-year-olds to register while they were still in high school.

“One of the bullet points that really shocked us was we had a very hot 2015 mayor’s race here in Nashville and there were fewer voters there than we had in this city in 1971,” Cooper said during a meeting with the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee on Monday.

“That is just stunning. It shows how we have lost the ethic of voting and participation. It’s a little bit like civic clubs are having a hard time. Churches are having a hard time. We need to do what we can with the Volunteer State.”

Full story here.