Supreme Court Agrees to Expedite Appeal of Photo ID Decision

State officials on Friday appealed a Court of Appeals ruling that declares Memphis Public Library photo ID cards are acceptable for voting by properly registered voters and asked for a stay of the Thursday order.
From Richard Locker’s report:
The state Supreme Court later Friday agreed to expedite the state’s application to appeal and instructed attorneys for the the city of Memphis to respond to the state’s appeal by noon Monday. The high court’s order was silent, however, on the state’s request to stay the appeals court ruling.
The appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court by the state attorney general’s office contends that the appeals court erred in declaring that the city of Memphis and the two Memphis voters who were co-plaintiffs in the case had standing to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s voter-photo ID act.
The appeal also contests the ruling that the city and its public library are “entities of this state” under provisions of the act that require voters to use photo IDs issued by the state, state agencies and “entities of this state.”
The Court of Appeals ruling “has essentially changed the rules on what type of identification is needed to vote in the midst of the election process,” the state says. “The Court of Appeals decision has cast uncertainty on that process on the eve of the November election.”
Thursday’s appeals court ruling upheld the constitutionality of Tennessee’s voter-photo ID law but also ordered acceptance of the Memphis library cards for voting by registered voters in Shelby County. The state contends that only state- and federal-issued ID cards — like driver’s licenses — are acceptable.
After Thursday’s ruling, state officials notified the Shelby County Election Commission to let registered voters who present the library ID cards to vote — but only on provisional ballots that may or may not be counted on election day. Provisional ballots are paper ballots that voters fill out and then place in a sealed envelope before handing to election officials. Whether they will be counted or not depends on the outcome of the case.
But Memphis City Atty. Herman Morris said Friday properly qualified voters with the library photo cards should be allowed to vote regularly, on touch-screen ballots, as other voters.

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