Court of Appeals Says Memphis Library Cards OK for Voting

The state Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of Tennessee’s voter-photo identification law today but also ordered that new photo library cards issued by the Memphis Public Library be accepted for voting by otherwise qualified, registered voters.
From the Commercial Appeal report:
The order is at least a partial victory for the City of Memphis, which originally filed a lawsuit in July asking that its new photo library cards be accepted for voting purposes by qualified registered voters. The city filed the lawsuit after the Shelby County Election Commission denied the cards as unacceptable under the law because they are not issued by a “state entity.”
The Court of Appeals ruling says:
“In light of the fact that the period of early voting for the November 6 election is currently underway, Defendants (Secretary of State Tre) Hargett and (State Election Coordinator Mark) Goins are hereby ordered to immediately advise the Shelby County Election Commission to accept photo library cards issued by the City of Memphis Public Library as acceptable ‘evidence of identification’ as provided at Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-7-112(c)(2)(A).”
…The city and its two co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit, two Memphis registered voters who lack voter photo identification acceptable by the state, had also sought to have the state statute declared unconstitutional on the grounds that it adds another “qualification” for voting in Tennessee beyond the four listed in the Tennessee Constitution: 18 years of age, a citizen of United States, a resident of Tennessee and properly registered in the voting precinct.”
But the court ruled that the law, approved in 2011 and effective with this year’s elections, is constitutional.

One thought on “Court of Appeals Says Memphis Library Cards OK for Voting

  1. Donna Locke

    Tennessee really doesn’t have anything of substance in this photo-ID law, because the Republicans allowed flaws in the bill, flaws that defeat the initial purpose of preventing ineligible voting. This new court decision allowing library cards compounds those flaws.
    The acceptable photo ID for voting should be restricted to forms of ID issued only to U.S. citizens. This would involve revisiting driver’s licenses and making distinctions between citizens and noncitizens.
    Secured photo-ID-at-the-polls is a necessary second elections-protection, because voter registration is unsecured and noncitizens have registered to vote and have voted, as investigations have shown.
    Photo-ID-at-the-polls bills originated with the immigration-enforcement movement.

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