Ketron reverses course on college IDs for voting

Monday, March 4, 2013 at 4:21pm

After two years of defending moves to require voters flash certain photo identification to cast a ballot at the polls, Sen. Bill Ketron is begging off his ban on college students using their university IDs.

Senate Bill 125 would add college student IDs from state schools to the list of identification poll workers will accept on election days, although Ketron fought hard against adding those student IDs over the last two years.

“We allowed the use of photo identification of faculty members of our state colleges and universities under the original Tennessee law which passed in 2011,” Ketron said in a press release Monday. “We believe that this state issued ID has worked as a sufficient form of identification and that students should also be included.”

The legislation is also aimed to clearly prohibit using photo identification produced by local municipalities for voting purposes, which would include the Memphis Library that produced photo IDs prior to last year’s primary election.

In the fall, the Tennessee Court of Appeals directed the state to tell poll workers to accept Memphis Library-issued photo ID cards, although the state appealed the decision to the Supreme Court arguing the library is run by the city and is not a state entity. The state’s high court heard arguments on the new law early last month.

“We considered locally issued cards when debating the original bill, but after reviewing the process, decided that the safeguards were not in place to ensure the integrity of the ballot like state and federally issued identification,” said Ketron.

6 Comments on this post:

By: joe41 on 3/4/13 at 5:39

How about only ID cards issued by the Republican party allowed at the polling place Sen. Ketron?

By: PKVol on 3/5/13 at 9:25

@joe41, if you're going to make a comment like that, why even bother?

If you can't see this as an opportunity to be more open in what identification is accepted, you are drinking too much of the Liberal Kool-Aid.

By: C.A.Jones on 3/5/13 at 2:17

I agree with Joe, only people who will vote for Democrats should be allowed to vote!!! KEEP IT FAIR!

By: rawhide on 3/5/13 at 2:54

Again, this is news Ms. Zelinski? Not that I perceive this to be anything like a flip on the issue, but I'll look forward to reports from you on every legislator's course change on the particulars of bills going forward . . .

If the requirements for obtaining all college IDs provide adequate safeguards, then college IDs should be allowed. Of course, the definition of "college" then becomes relevant.

But then again we like the system of casting ballots sloppy, inconsistent and vulnerable, don't we "progressive" friends?

By: wasaw on 3/5/13 at 10:34

Gentlemen, if we have a TRUE voter I.D. law, in which every voter is a legitimate voter, how ever will the present Democrat party continue to pull the lever for dead people? I've got it, they can use their death certificates!

By: ancienthighway on 3/6/13 at 12:07

You are so right wasaw. Just look how those Democrats have taken over state government and every district in the state. Even if every Democrat in the state voted three times, they would not, no, could not, carry enough votes to win a seat in the current districts.

This is classic. The Repubican's got what they wanted, and it still isn't enough for some.