A measure that allows any photo identification issued by the state of Tennessee or United States to be used for voting has been signed by the governor.
The Senate version of the legislation at one time would have allowed student ID cards issued by public universities to be used, but the House stripped out that provision and the Senate later agreed with it. The legislation also eliminates library cards as suitable voter ID.
A Republican-led push to use college IDs to vote was held up on the floor of the Tennessee Senate today. Another GOP senator says there’s no need to expand the state’s voter ID law.
This legislation comes from a Rutherford County lawmaker, home to the largest undergraduate student body in the state. And while Senator Bill Ketron refused to accept student IDs when the law was passed two years ago, he’s now had a change of heart.
Senator Stacy Campfield of Knoxville has not.
“You know, I hate to say it, but possibly in my younger days I may have known a person or two who had a falsified college ID,” she said.
The Tennessee Appeals Court will hear oral arguments today to strike down the new law that requires voters to show ID at the polls. Memphis officials and two residents claim the law violates the state constitution because the only voting requirements it lists are proof of age, residency and registration. They’ve asked that if the ID requirement is upheld that the judge rule separately to allow IDs provided by the city library to be used to vote. A Nashville judge ruled that the law is constitutional in September.