IDville Blog | Tennessee judge upholds voter ID law

Tennessee judge upholds voter ID law

by Admin 28. September 2012 12:03

Voters in the state of Tennessee must comply with the state's voter identification statute, a Nashville judge ruled earlier this week, The Associated Press reports.

Chancery Court Judge Carol McCoy with Davidson County issued the ruling on Wednesday following roughly three hours of oral arguments. Her finding opposes the opinion of civil rights attorney George Barrett who argued the constitution of Tennessee mandates proof of legal age, residency and registration.

Barrett said the law demanding voters only may cast ballots with photo identification cards issued by the state or federal government.

But the judge said the past few years have seen evolving voting procedures, which enable the state legislature to move forward with laws that help ensure "the purity of the ballot box."

Douglas Johnson, who argued the case alongside Barrett, said lawmakers' motive is to hold down the participation of minorities for the presidential election in November.

But one Republican state senator praised the judge's ruling and said that court action demonstrates the law's validity and constitutionality, The Shreveport Times reports.

On Wednesday "we had affirmation in state court, in addition to federal court affirmation in July, that Tennessee has the right to guard against voter fraud and 'to secure the freedom of elections and the purity of the ballot box,' as our Constitution states," according to a statement issued by Senator Bill Ketron.

Exceptions to the law are available for senior citizens who reside in nursing homes and for people casting absentee ballots.

But voters who are unable to demonstrate an acceptable photo identification on election day in early November may return to the election office in their county within two business days to demonstrate they have an ID.

If they do not take those steps, their vote will not register, the news source reports.

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