Photo ID requirement for voting angers some Tennessee voters

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July 30, 2011

Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tennessee: In June a law was passed requiring Tennessee voters to have a valid photo ID to be able to vote. This law will take effect on January 1 of next year, meaning that the first election requiring an ID will be the presidential primary on March 6, 2012.[1]

Although these IDs are available at driver's license testing stations for free, many citizens have complained about having to wait in long line for hours to receive their ID. One citizen, 63 year old Michael Blanner, claimed that this disenfranchised a large number of voters, many of which are elderly.[1]

There is an option for drivers over 60 to renew their licenses online, which many people like Blanner opted for, that does not require a new photo to be taken. With a license acquired this way, one would not be allowed to vote.[1]

Hedy Weinberg of the ACLU of Tennessee claims, "There is no question this is an effort to disenfranchise voters." Senator Brian Kelsey counters that this bill was introduced to drastically reduce voter fraud, stating "Unfortunately we have the proven record of dead people having voted in Shelby County. I think this is a law we should be proud of."[1]

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