The Tennessee legislature recently passed legislation requiring a government issued photo ID before being allowed to vote. Some critics say it is another attempt to discourage predominately Democratic oriented citizens from exercising their vote at the polls. Is this a trick or might it be a treat? It can be a treat if Dems strategize and work in advance to get all potential Democratic voters fully prepared to be allowed to vote. If Republicans fail to do the same, this could be turned to a strategic advantage for Democrats.
Thanks to Millard Garland and Wayne Smith, we have a summary of the legislation; it is as follows:
-Requires a voter to produce a government issued photo ID before being allowed to vote.
-Exempts those voting by absentee, hospitalized, and in a licensed nursing home.
-If no photo identification, the voter will vote a provisional ballot except in case of indigent or those who have a religious objection. The voter must sign an oath stating he or she is indigent or an oath stating a religious objection to being photographed. After signing the oath, the voter will vote on the machines.
-Counting of provisional votes is changed from forty-eight hours to four business days following Election Day (extension may be granted by Coordinator of Elections, but no later than the second Monday following an election).
-If no photo ID and voter cast a provisional ballot, the voter has two business days to return to the election commission office or place designated by election commission to show a valid photo ID- must sign affidavit and AOE must copy photo ID for records and counting board.
-If rejected must notify voter by mailand reason why rejected.
-Valid photo ID includes a Tennessee drivers license, US passport, Department of Safety photo ID card, state or federal employee photo identification card, photo ID card issued by federal government or other state, US military photo ID.
-College photo ID is not a valid ID for voting purposes.
-Applies to early voting and Election Day.
Effective January1, 2012
It is our understanding that local Department of Safety Driver’s License offices will be issuing photo ID’s that are non-driver’s license related. We understand there will not be a fee for this service. It will be important for us to identify all persons who we know that will need to obtain a Department of Safety photo ID card, assist and encourage them in getting a card for themselves, and having them fully prepared to exercise their right to vote. Let’s turn the tables on Republican efforts to hamper Democrats from voting.