Judge Says No To Using Library Card As TN Voter ID
(Nashville, TN) A judge in Nashville has ruled the new Memphis Library Photo ID card cannot be used to vote in Tennessee.
The judge ruled the library is not a state entity and therefore does not satisfy the Tennessee Voter ID act, which requires the photo ID be issued by a state or federal agency.
The ID can even be from another state and expired.
Memphis spent $67,000 on a new library card system that includes a photo and requires much of the same proof needed to get the free Tennessee state Voter ID.
Mayor A C Wharton believed that means the state should accept the library card from voters.
The whole process has caused much confusion because city officials made it sound like the library card would be accepted, even though the state said it would not be.
A judge has already ruled that not accepting the library card during early voting would not disenfranchise voters.
City Attorney Herman Morris issued the following statement:
City of Memphis Attorney Herman Morris, “We are disappointed for all the voters who don’t have a driver’s license photo ID, and we still feel that the library photo ID was the right thing to do. The citizens of Memphis should have another more convenient and more accessible option available to them to meet the state’s voter ID requirement. Sixteen library branches can serve more people than two or three area driver’s license stations. Finally, we still think the state ID law is wrong because it puts an unconstitutional barrier between the citizens and their right to vote.”
There are those who have asked why, if you can get the library card, you can’t get the free state ID.
There are three license centers in Memphis, including one across the street from the main library.
In Tennessee, in addition to being a registered vote, you will need a valid photo ID.
Acceptable Photo IDs for Voting: Any of the following IDs may be used, even if expired:
- Tennessee drivers license with your photo
- United States Passport
- Photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
- Photo ID issued by the federal or ANY state government
- United States Military photo ID
- State-issued handgun carry permit with your photo
Photo IDs NOT Accepted for Voting: College student IDs and photo IDs not issued by the federal or a state government are NOT acceptable.
For a complete detailing of the Tennessee State http://www.tn.gov/sos/election/photoID.htm
Absentee Option for Age 60+: The absentee voting law and requirements in Tennessee changed in 2012 to allow anyone 60 years of age or older to request and vote absentee. This means that someone who is 60+ who decides to not obtain a photo ID or who for some reason is unable to obtain a photo ID, can still vote as long as they are registered.
Voters are reminded that written requests for an absentee ballot should be sent to the Shelby County Election Commission at 980 Nixon Drive, Memphis, TN 38134. Requests for an absentee ballot are accepted no more than ninety (90) days and not less than seven (7) days before an election. Applications must be in the office seven (7) days before any election, and requests or applications received after this deadline must be rejected. This means, to vote in the Aug. 2 Election in Shelby County, a request for absentee ballot must be received by July 26. For a complete description of the absentee request process visithttp://www.shelbyvote.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/11