State starts education campaign regarding voter photo ID law

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 5:50pm

State officials say they’re starting a public education campaign about the new law requiring Tennessee voters to show photo identification.

The photo ID law takes effect with elections in 2012, and Secretary of State Tre Hargett said Wednesday the campaign is aimed at avoiding confusion at the polls.

The Republican-dominated legislature passed the law this year over the objections of Democrats, who contended it is intended to make it harder for their traditional constituencies to vote. Democrats said it will disenfranchising poor, elderly and minority voters who may not have photo IDs. But Republicans insisted the law is needed to combat voter fraud.

“I believe this new requirement is a common sense step that will increase public confidence in our elections,” Hargett said. “Requiring photo IDs will decrease the chances that an eligible voter can be impersonated by someone else at the polls.”

Driver’s licenses, U.S. passports, government employee identification cards and military ID cards are acceptable forms of photo ID under the law. Voters who can’t afford any of these forms of photo ID can get a state-issued ID, free of charge, at drivers’ license offices around the state.

As part of the education campaign, the state Division of Elections has provided local election officials with information about the new requirement that will be distributed to people casting ballots in municipal elections around Tennessee this year. Also, information about the new law will be posted on the Department of State’s website, officials said.

“It is very important to us that people understand this new requirement so they are not surprised when they get to the polls next year,” state Elections Coordinator Mark Goins said.

9 Comments on this post:

By: knilob on 7/27/11 at 4:22

Another stupid law from our stupid legislature.

By: bfra on 7/28/11 at 4:58

What part of photo ID is there to explain? Oh, guess that is for those that can't speak English!

By: gdiafante on 7/28/11 at 6:00

I agree knilob.

Bfra, you do realize that fake Id's are VERY easy to get, no? Even for those unfortunate souls who didn't have the privilege of learning God's English from birth...

By: bfra on 7/28/11 at 7:16

g - Where in this article is anything about, how to spot fake Ids?

By: Kosh III on 7/28/11 at 10:12

How many convictions for voter fraud have there been in Tenn or nationally in the past 20 years?
Few to none.

By: macjedi on 7/28/11 at 11:43

Gott intimidate those Obama voters, right, GOP?

By: pswindle on 7/28/11 at 12:52

Where are the leaders of the Democratic Party? If it were a democrat making these stupid laws the GOP would sue the minute that the Governor signed them. I still can't get over the mess that the GOP has made about the new healthcare laws. You have to have car insurance so why not have health insurance. What little someone could buy into the healthcare system it would save a little off of the backs of us that buy health insurance. Everyone should particpate and it would help all.

By: Navy on 7/28/11 at 1:51

i don't know about you but i have been showing my voting card for 27 years. I have check on it and found out that you do not have to have ID to vote, they can not refused you to vote BUT you will have to filled out paper work. I think any one over 65 years old that has been voting for years SHOULD not show there ID but fill the extra paper work out to show our Republican Gov. just how we feel about there stupid new law.

By: macjedi on 8/1/11 at 8:12

The state party, alas, lacks a pair of balls. I've tried to give such to them, but they just won't take.