Tennessee Supreme Court Upholds Voter ID; Library Cards Don’t Count

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(Nashville, TN) Tennessee's Supreme Court ruled against the City of Memphis and has upheld the state's Voter ID law.

The court upheld the 2011 law which requires photo identification for those who are registered to cast a vote.

Two voters and the City of Memphis sued arguing the ID requirement was an unfair burden and unduly affected the poor and minorities.

The TN Supreme Court also ruled Memphis Library Cards, on which the city spent more than $60,000, cannot be used as proper voter ID.

"We felt because of the way the law read, that these cards should have been able to be used," Memphis City Councilman Myron Lowery said.

Last November when you voted, you could use your Memphis Library Card to vote after an appeals court agreed with the City of Memphis.

But in April, the General Assembly changed the law to specifically say city library cards cannot be used as photo ID to vote.

Thursday, the Tennessee Supreme Court said because of the new wording, the issue "is moot."

"We should make it easier to vote not difficult, but this is the law of the state," Lowery said.

The City of Memphis and two women, Daphne Turner Golden and Sullistine Bell, filed the suit over the library cards last year.

They also argued the Tennessee Voter ID Law was unconstitutional.

Thursday, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld that law too.

"It seems like no one really cares. They don't care if we vote or not," Sullistine Bell said."We've had people die for voting rights."

Bell told us she was disappointed by the ruling, "It is upsetting because when you think about it. It's the old people who go to the polls to vote, and they found a way to block that."

The TN Supreme Court said the law doesn't prevent people from voting.

Bell, because she is over 60, can cast an absentee ballot without a photo ID.

The court said photo ID cards are also free for people who can't afford them and the "Photo ID is a logical method of protecting the integrity of elections."

Thursday Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey tweeted he is, "proud to live in a state that protects the votes of its citizens. "

The City of Memphis declined to comment since it had not read the ruling yet.

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