Skip to comments.Tennessee Supreme Court allows library card ID for voters, for now
Posted on 11/01/2012 7:29:05 PM PDT by SmithL
NASHVILLE The Tennessee Supreme Court Thursday ordered state and local election officials to accept Memphis' library photo identification cards for voting purposes in Tuesday's general election provided the voter is properly registered.
The Shelby County Election Commission instructed its staff to comply immediately on the last day of early voting Thursday, said commission chairman Robert Meyers.
"The instructions are to accept as valid the Memphis photo library cards, which means those voters that present with a Memphis library photo ID would then be allowed to vote on the machines. And any voter who has cast a provisional paper ballot with a Memphis photo library ID would not need to do anything additional for their vote to be counted," Meyers said.
The election commission said that through Wednesday, 19 people had cast provisional paper ballots due to issues involving photo ID, including but not limited to those with library photo IDs, out of more than 190,000 early voters in Shelby County.
"Clearly, it's a victory for the voters," said City Atty. Herman Morris after the Supreme Court ruled. "I think that is really the most import thing. It's about convenience and making it easier for people to exercise their constitutional right to vote. It's what we have said and argued all along."
Morris and other high-ranking city officials used their library cards to vote Thursday.
Mayor A C Wharton, who pushed for acception of the library cards, said it was a "great day" for voters. "The more who get to participate, the stronger our city, the stronger the state, the stronger our nation."
He said he hopes the state legislature will not outlaw the library IDs, as the sponsor of the state law has promised. "I would hope that as opposed to the legislature trying to find a way to stamp this down they would simply say, 'OK, you can keep doing that but let's make sure you're using the right process to verify the identity of the people.'"
The state's high court had decided to hear the state's appeal of last week's Court of Appeals ruling upholding the constitutionality of Tennessee's voter photo ID law. The appeals court also ruled that the city-issued library photo IDs are acceptable for voting by properly registered voters. The state opposes use of the city-issued cards and appealed that provision of the ruling.
Under the appeal process the state used, the Court of Appeals' order would normally be delayed pending conclusion of the appeal. "However, the right to vote has profound constitutional significance," Thursday's Supreme Court order says. "In light of the impending general election ... the Court has determined that the stay should be lifted for the limited purpose of ordering the defendants (Secretary of State) Tre Hargett and (State Election Coordinator) Mark Goins to immediately advise the Shelby County Election Commission to accept, for the November 6, 2012 general election and until otherwise ordered by this Court, the photo library cards issued by the City of Memphis Public Library as acceptable 'evidence of identification' as provided in" the state voter photo ID law.
After the Court of Appeals ruling last week, state election officials told the Shelby County Election Commission to allow registered voters who present the library photo cards to vote on paper provisional ballots but not regular touch-screen voting machines until the Supreme Court acted.
The Supreme Court has not set a date for arguments in the case. The City of Memphis and two Memphis voters without state-issued photo ID cards filed the lawsuit seeking to overturn the state voter photo ID law as unconstitutional, or short of that, require acceptance of the Memphis library photo ID cards by properly registered voters.
Who can i sue to have my TGI Fridays Stripes card count as valid ID?
Thats be goot caus Iz be reeden lotz o books whilz I be watin for me some Obama wefare checks an iz get dem frum da liberry.
Went with some Mexicans just yesterday to the library, they had their library card, but they sure ain’t citizens of the USA.
Perhaps in Tennessee, you must show proof of citizenship to obtain a library card. We certainly would not want non-citizens to be able to check out library materials. I’m sure that the Constitutional voting franchise of U.S. citizens is being completely protected by this ruling.
Answer: Your Honor.
It is so sad how things have changed, and how fast the USA is sinking into depravity.
I guess the new term, vote now and vote often, is quite in vogue.
I am now looking at my old Tennessee voter registration card
from 1974, my second card, as I had moved to the countryside.
It list not only my address, but the location of where I am allowed to vote. In most all cases, the poll workers knew me, or my family, personally.
I remember one summer of college break, I had a summer job of setting voting machines in Shelby county for the 1964 election.
we may as well shred the constitution for all its worth now. we dont have any rights..
Identification showing current address is required. Acceptable identification includes valid Tennessee Drivers License or state ID showing current address or any two of the following, one showing current address:
Is a library card enough to buy a handgun in Tenn?
Libraries do not care about citizenship in issuing library cards. They take pride in serving the underserved, including and especially illegals. All someone has to do to get a borrower card in a lot of libraries is show two pieces of mail, such as an electricity bill with the person’s name and address on it and they’ve got their card. This ruling by the judge is ridiculous. Just because people like libraries doesn’t mean that all the people with cards are citizens! No logic to the decision - stupid, stupid. Someone needs to undertake a class action suit - the judge’s ruling undermines the opportunity for the real citizens to participate in a fair and legal election.
The only photo ID I'm aware of that requires proof of citizenship is a passport. Does your state require a passport to vote? You sure as hell don't need to be a US citizen to get a driver's license.
Question? From where do courts and judges get executive/legislative authority?
I have an Etch-a-Sketch on which I’ve carefully written my name and drawn perky little picture of myself. Can I use it?
I have an Etch-a-Sketch on which I’ve carefully written my name and drawn a perky little picture of myself. Can I use it?
It has a picture with it. If it didn’t have a picture, I would probably laugh about this but it seems a library card would be ok. Tennessee is pretty Republican so I don’t mind so much.