Voter ID Law Upheld, Library Cards Can Be Used For Now

(Memphis) – Tennessee’s voter I.D. law is upheld by an Appellate Court. But, the panel of judges ruled that City of Memphis library cards can be used as a form of photo I.D.

“This is a great day,” Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton said.

It was a decision that was met with excitement in Memphis.

“The mayor knew we were right,” City Attorney Herman Morris said. “We are going to make sure that our voters in Memphis are able to get an I.D. card that is convenient and accessible so their right to vote isn’t limited or infringed on because they lack a photo I.D.”

The city of Memphis and two women who live there filed the lawsuit asking that the library cards to be considered an acceptable form of I.D. 

Sullistine Bell is one of women named in the suit. She was too sick to go on camera, but talked to us by phone about the decision.

“I am proud of that. That means we are still moving forward and not backwards,”  Bell said. “It was worth the effort to even try.”

But the Secretary of State isn’t giving up so fast.

Thursday afternoon he told News Channel 3 he’s filing an appeal with the Tennessee Supreme Court on Friday. If it accepts the appeal, a stay is automatically issued.

So if someone shows up with Memphis library card,  they will have to vote with a provisional ballot. It will be noted on the envelope that they voted with a library card.

If the TN Supreme Court agrees that the library card is a valid I.D., the  vote  will then be counted.

The city’s hopeful that will happen.

“We are on the right side of history and on the right side of the law,” Morris said.

So far in Tennessee during early voting out of the 725,000 people who have voted, 67 people voted with a provisional ballot because they did not have the right form of I.D.

Twenty-nine of those people have returned already with I.D.

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