Bill Would Allow Student I.D. For Voting In Tennessee

(Memphis) On the University of Tennessee Health Science Center campus, there’s plenty of talk about whether student IDs should be used as voter ID at the polls.

Jaron Densky is a UTHSC College of Medicine student, “I think it would be a good idea. It would allow a wider variety of people to be able to go vote and easier.”

State Senator Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro is pushing a bill authorizing the use of student photo IDs issued by state community colleges and universities as acceptable identification for voting.

But Senate Bill 125 would also mean photo library cards such as the ones in Memphis would not be allowed under state law.

Van Turner is chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party, “I am disappointed they would X out library cards. We are a home rule city and we should be able to govern ourselves. I do think it’s a slap in the face. I think the library cards were doing something that the constitution guaranteed.”

Last year, the city’s library card issue became explosive.

The city sued the state after election officials refused to accept a city issued library card with a photo as identification.

The Tennessee State Court of Appeals did uphold the law, but also allowed Memphians to use the library cards while the State Supreme Court considers the case.

Lang Wiseman is the former head of the Shelby County GOP.

“I’ve lived in many different places and gotten library cards before and no one has asked me for anything other than write down my name and address. Voting is controlled by state statute and I think this(college ID bill) is just an attempt to make sure there are legitimate forms of IDs that are being used,” Wiseman said.

The College ID bill is being presented in the Senate State and Local Government Committee this week.

The Memphis Library Card case is not expected to be heard by the State Supreme Court for several more months.

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